News > Agronomy > Plan to Succeed

Plan to Succeed

Jan 18, 2022

            As I sit down to write this, we, as an agriculture community are living with so many new challenges and experiences. Never in my 30 years in Ag Retail or I’m sure in 100 years of farming have we seen the price of commodities rise to the level they are at this moment! It is both thrilling, riveting and scary all at the same time. I, along with all of you would love to experience $11/bushel oats and $22 canola forever. Unfortunately, all good things seem to come with some sort of opposite effect. Ours, is the ever-increasing cost of operating, partially driven by inflation, part supply and demand. Add to this the “supply chain” issues currently in the news and the risk to running a farm business goes up. Agriculture has always been risky. As a farmer or an ag retailer, we know that, but the stakes are now much higher.
            As an agronomist and adviser to growers our value comes in helping to navigate a way through the risk we are facing. Communication is key. Coming up with a crop plan which fits an individual farm based on people, soil type, levels of nutrients in the soil, crop mix, soil moisture and so many more factors. It is so critical during a time of high input costs and product limitations, to talk with your supplier and map out a plan of attack. Knowing what you need so that products can be put in place to meet your yield goals for the year. Or maybe it is new credit ideas. Starting with a conversation with your team, whoever that may include, will go a long way to ensuring a season of success.
            Sometimes, we must also look at the normal way we do things, differently. Perhaps due to soil moisture we will band fertilizer instead of broadcast and cultivate. Perhaps we will split apply nitrogen to spread risk and cost. The idea to shift from our normal way of doing things when faced with adverse conditions, is how farmers have been successful over the years. This year may be the most challenging that some of you have ever had, others it may be one of many.
            A perfect example I think must be glyphosate. The price of glyphosate has returned to where it was 30 years ago. So, now it is no longer the cheap “fix” it used to be. Many growers have been combining other actives with glyphosate over the years to reduce the chance of resistance. This year we may have to look at other options to glyphosate. Maybe in a soybean field Xtend and clethodim might be the way to go based on weed species instead of the usual Xtend and glyphosate. The use of a pre-seed herbicide option may prove more economical than doing two applications of glyphosate in corn for instance.
The point is there may need to be some compromises this year, some new ways of looking at old problems to come up with a solution. Whether its moisture conservation, fertilizer, chemical, equipment, timing, or anything in between communicating with your agronomist and supplier will go a long way to making 2022 a success. We at Shur-Gro look forward to working with all of you to help make sure your plans run smooth.

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