We are located in south central Van Wert County in northwest Ohio. We are farming short of 3,800 acres — my dad, my brother, my mom, and myself. We raise corn, soybeans and wheat, though this year we don’t have any wheat. We could use some wheat to spread the workload out but it was a marketing decision.
There wasn’t much opportunity to do any work in the field this winter. Once the weather turned in December, it was a nasty winter to get much done. We got some grain hauled. We put a good dent in trucking our soybeans out but we still have quite a bit of corn. We are trying to remain optimistic. We have a big report coming this week and we are hoping on an upswing here.
We are looking at planting malting barley. You can harvest it a little earlier to get double-crop soybeans in. We are looking at the market right now. We had a brewery contact us about growing it and we are in the beginning stages with that. There is a chance we could be drilling some this fall.
We are also looking at a program to add cover crops on a quarter to half of our acres. We are in the enrollment stages of that process with prescription variable rate fertility, banding nutrients with strip-till rigs, and combining that with cover crops. It places the fertility right where it needs to be 6 to 8 inches down. We are also looking at taking a small piece of ground and putting it in the pollinator program.
We are also going to work on nitrogen management in corn with Y-Drops. We did see a return with the Y-Drops and this year we are going to play around with using less anhydrous and more Y-drop applications at the right crop stages. We saw a little more profit margin with 28% last year.