I’m a fifth generation farmer in Delaware County. We have about 2,600 acres of corn and soybeans. We sell seed, we have a crop consulting business called Precision Soil Tek, I sell cover crops, and my wife is a crop insurance agent for rain and hail. The economics of wheat don’t work well for us but we are interested in looking at barley for the future.
The cover crops were little disappointing this last fall. The first warm spell they looked like they were coming on and greening up and then it turned cold and everything is brown out there again. I am really curious to get another warm up and see what happens. It looks like they went dormant a second time.
At first it can seem tough to spend $12 to $18 an acre on cover crops from the standpoint of profitability. But when you look at the increasing organic matter, weather-proofing your ground, holding nutrients and keeping soil and nutrients in place, it definitely helps the economics. It also improves yields by breaking up compaction and improving the soil.
I am optimistic that with corn acres down we could see some bumps on the corn price and there is a lot of demand there for beans as long as we keep the politics out of it and keep out exports flowing out of the ports. We need to make sure exports stay strong and ethanol production stays strong to keep the demand out there. If we have much downturn, the economics per acre are going to get pretty bad pretty quick. We are doing too good a job of growing crops and got ourselves into a surplus situation we have to work through. We have to do a good job of marketing to stay profitable.
We have moisture in the soil and it sounds like this week we are going to get recharged again. We are getting equipment ready and I am anxious to get out in the fields to see if our improvements are going to work the way we want.