This article was submitted by Chaz Holt, a Precision Agriculture and Conservation Specialist with Quail Forever. You can reach him on twitter @agrarianlife or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Planting season has begun even if seed is not in the ground yet. Before you plant everything this spring, consider your Return on Investment (ROI) per acre. With precision technology today, we can now think about each acre we farm instead of whole fields or even whole farms. Our commodity markets are in tight positions at these uncertain times and we want nothing more than for all our farmers to weather this storm together. As a businessperson and farmer, you mostly already know where low yielding averages are in your fields and you know what each foot, each acre, and each field costs to produce Cotton. Now is the time to consider Profits are Greater than Yields. Many of you must be considering horrible prices out there and historical knowledge of ‘bad’ spots. Average costs of inputs remain but cotton prices are falling or remaining low. If you can conserve your operating costs on areas where your crop is most likely to Not pay back its debt or provide profit to the whole farm, but instead focus on the good and excellent acres, you are likely to have less risk and more profit this year. In a year where it seems ROI will be rough, let those negative acres build biodiversity this year. Biodiversity is proving to be beneficial for soil and water health as well as provide housing for ‘good’ bugs and wildlife. The last thing we want is a farm to struggle more than they have to, hang on to the best crop possible and save on that debt load if we can. If you would like to know more about ideal options for those negative acres on your farm we can look at information from your John Deere Ops Center or any other precision platform to best determine areas with most risk. This service is brought to you by Cotton Incorporated, Quail Forever, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), and the American Society of Agronomy (ASA), for additional considerations, options, or assistance of any kind you can contact me.