Glen Newcomer, March 27

We have a diversified farm where we grow corn and soybeans and grow seed for a major seed company. We have worked in seed sales for over 30 years with local farmers and we also have a crop insurance agency where we serve farmers in several counties here in northwest Ohio.

We have diverse soil types ranging from black sandy loam to heavy clay. The management we use for all of the different soil types varies and timeliness is very important for us to be successful on those different types of farms. We predominantly no-till our soybeans or stale seedbed in the spring. Our corn is generally conventionally tilled. On our sandier soils, residue management is an issue. The soils need help warming up in the spring so tillage allows us to pick up a few extra days at planting time. We may vertically till a few acres this spring for soybean production. We try to minimize our trips over the ground and integrate different technologies to achieve that.

We apply gypsum because we have a need to increase the calcium base saturation of our soils and satisfy the sulfur needs. We also believe there are water quality benefits related to that as well.

I have some concern about what the spring will be like when the crops break dormancy. Growing degree units may influence our insect pressures this year. I hope we have favorable conditions so pests do not become an issue.

I think there are a lot of opportunities in 2017 over 2016. We have higher levels of crop insurance revenue coverage for spring and our input costs are down in terms of fertilizer prices. Those are a couple of positives working in our favor and I am very optimistic about the coming year.

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