3 Agronomic Trends to Know About Heading into Planting Season

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Farmers are always looking for ways to maximize their return on investment (ROI), and one pathway to that objective may involve changing up agronomic practices. By adjusting seeding rates or tinkering with row spacing, for example, you might be able to get more out of the acres you farm and potentially boost your ROI.

Farmers Business Network℠ members tend to be on the cutting-edge of agricultural innovation, so tracking their trends can provide insight into where practices are headed across North America. 

We published our 2020 Farming Trends Report—utilizing anonymized contributions from more than 6,800 operations covering 135 million acre-events of agronomic data—with this in mind, to give you a clearer picture of practices, trends and more.

Want to catch up on some of the latest trends in agriculture?

Here are three agronomic trends to note in this year’s report

The report is loaded with takeaways, but we’ve identified three trends related to agronomic practices that are worth a closer look as we head into planting season.

1. Tillage practices align with soil conservation trends 

As farmers increasingly see the importance and agronomic benefits of soil conservation, no-till farming continues its upward trend across the network. In fact, no-till and minimum-till farming now account for approximately 75 percent of FBN member acres. 

Meanwhile conventional tillage continued its downward trend in 2019 and is now practiced on less than one-fifth of member acres.

2. More farmers opt for tighter row spacing for soybeans

While corn row spacing hasn’t changed much over the past five years, more and more farmers are turning to 15-inch row spacing for soybeans. This trend most likely reflects heightened focus on ROI against the backdrop of high production costs and a softened soybean market.

3. Seeding rates showed some variance in 2019

Seeding rates have varied year-over-year across member acres. Average seeding rates for soybeans had followed a steady downward trend over the past five years but saw a slight increase in 2019. Average seeding rates for corn have been relatively constant since our analysis began in 2014.

Tap into the power of a network of farmers

Creating access to information that can help you make decisions to potentially improve ROI on your operation is just one of the ways we’re putting Farmers First®. Want to know more? Download a free copy of our 2020 Farming Trends Report to read our analysis of agronomic practices, seed selection, input costs, commodity prices and more.

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