It is that time of year when growers are making final decision on their 2016 crop inputs. With slimmer profit margins, those decisions are harder to make this year. There is always an element of risk in making crop production decisions but, with high production costs and low crop prices, making those final plans is taking a lot of thought. Jim Wolf, with True Horizons, says maintain yield is the number one goal for most growers, “Most growers do not want to give up yields so to maintain where they want to go and still reduce costs is proving to be a very tedious process.” He told HAT while fertilizer costs have declined in the past few months, seed and crop protection costs have not changed much.
One area where producers are working extra hard to maximize benefit while minimizing cost is in the area of soil fertility and nitrogen application, “We recommend grid sampling. It is sort of like a bank account, it gives you a reading of exactly what is in the soil.” From this and other data, they can make recommendations for this year.
While there are some new products on the market in 2016, Wolf says many growers are cautious about trying something new in a year like this, “Farmers always like to try something new but this year it may be on more of a trial basis compared to what they have done in the past.”