Verified FBN Member (NE)
(edited)
Agronomy

What is your farms biggest return on investment?

Give me your top 3.

What is your farms biggest return on investment?
Verified FBN Member (WI)

1 grain handling equipment (dryer and bins)

2 sprayer

3 FBN membership

Verified FBN Member
Response deleted by author
Verified FBN Member (SD)

Conventional corn

Grain bins and dryer

Verified FBN Member (SD)

1. Drain Tile

2. H2-A workers

3. Grain Bins

4. FBN Seed Finder

Verified FBN Member
Response deleted by author
Verified FBN Member (NE)

1. Independent agronomist (servi-tech)

2. My team of employees.

3. Niche crops that offer a premium. (Seed corn, plenish soybeans, non GMO white corn.)

Verified FBN Member (ND)

1. Sprayer

2. GPS/Autosteer (maybe in this era that is a given)

3. Cattle. (Cows and farming complement each other so much IMHO)

Verified FBN Member (WA)

I think that depends on where you're at. Where I am it takes a lot of acres to sustain free range cattle so you need a lot of ground and a lot of cows to be profitable, same goes with the farm side with limited cropping options with marginal return/acre so anymore guys are having to get so big at one or the other that they don't have the time or resources to do both.

Verified FBN Member (OH)

1. Grain bins

2. Sprayer/ floater dry fertilizer

3. Cattle

Verified FBN Member (TX)
(edited)

1. CS690 Cotton stripper, faster and more efficient, went from 12 people at harvest to 2.

2. 3 well qualified driven employees, instead of 5 average employees.

3. Grain Bins

Verified FBN Member (IA)

1. Knowledge - we set a personal record yield on a field this year using a totally different fertilizer program from last year. The high yield wasn’t farm wide but if we got started planting a week earlier I suspect it would’ve been

2. Alfalfa

3. Conventional corn

Verified FBN Member (TN)

What did you do different with your fertility?

Verified FBN Member (MN)

Tile, high speed planter

Verified FBN Member (MO)

High speed planters save time but increase in row see spacing which reduces yields. Check your seed spacing vs mph and see if there is a variance in spacing and therefore yield.

Verified FBN Member (IN)

Tile, Planter, Sprayer

Verified FBN Member (NC)

Litter, 4wd Tractors, Vertical Tillage

Verified FBN Member (NE)
(edited)

Top Notch Hired Man

Center Pivots

Sprayer

Verified FBN Member (IN)

1. Tile drainage

2. Manure application

3. new technologies: Draper header, Precision monitoring, hyd. downforce, etc...

Verified FBN Member (IN)

1. Grain bins

2. Sprayer

3. Corn and bean hybrids that work on our soil.

Verified FBN Member (MN)

1. Nitrogen/manure 2. Tile plow 3. Selfpropelled Sprayer

Verified FBN Member (MS)

1.Deer fences

2.Actually having time to run drainage ditches

Verified FBN Member (AR)

1. Labor

2 Bins

3 Sprayer

Verified FBN Member (IL)
(edited)

Hydraulic down pressure

Drainage tile and ditches

Trials and weekly tissue testing

Going into 2019 I'm focusing on

The perfect planter pass

More potash

More effort on cover crops

Verified FBN Member (KS)

Grain bins

Grain marketing professionals

Planter

Verified FBN Member (CO)

Autosteer

Bins

Self propelled sprayer

Verified FBN Member (MI)

Autosteer?....I have seen no return on investment on mine..maybe GPS and Mapping

Verified FBN Member (CO)

Yep. when farming flat quarters and half sections, auto steer pays every single time. When the wind is blowing and you can't see the end of you implement very well, auto steer pays. When trying to pickup a small millet windrow and the wind is out of the wrong direction and you can barely see past the pickup header going in that direction, auto steer pays. When you can't see the other end of the 2 mile long field that goes over a gentle hill, auto steer pays. When the combine operator can pay greater attention the machine without also making sure they are cutting a full swath, auto steer pays. When you're 60' drill doesn't have to overlap 1-3' each pass because a human can only drive so straight unassisted, auto steer pays. Not having to wonder if you're right on with the foam when spraying, assuming the foam is still around when you come back on your next pass, auto steer pays & pays big. When the cart driver can pay greater attention to their cart than if they are spaced correctly away from the header, auto steer pays. Ok the last one might be a reach but on the rest, way less stress, more efficient, and best ROI edging out the sprayer. Bins/combines round out the top 3, I chose bins because depending on the year, combines can rack up a lot of expenses.

Verified FBN Member (MI)

tile

tile

tile.

dryer,

grain bin

Verified FBN Member (FL)

1.Barns / Sheds

2.Corn pickers and Gravity Wagons

3.Grain Bagger and Grain Vac

4. FBN

Verified FBN Member (MN)

1- Drain tile

2- grain bins

3- Sprayer

Verified FBN Member (TX)

4650 jd I bought 15 years ago. Its pre-emmission. FBN direct.is good. Bale baron 4245

Verified FBN Member (MN)

1 tile

2 dryer

3 more tile

Verified FBN Member (TX)

1- pen and paper

2- labor and agronomists

3- sprayer

Verified FBN Member (AB, CAN)

1. Rotation/agronomy

2. Marketing

3. Grain bins/dryer

Verified FBN Member (MN)

Tile tile tile

Verified FBN Member (MN)

1. Tile

2. Conventional corn

3. The correct market adviser

Verified FBN Member (SD)

This year prevent plant(not even close, tile couldn’t save me)most years my two employees of over 25 years who love farming and think of mine as there own!!

Verified FBN Member (MN)

1 - Self Propelled Sprayer

2 - High Speed Planter

3 - Employees that can operate and repair equipment

Verified FBN Member (PA)

1. Pen, paper and calculator

2. Manure

3. Sprayer

Verified FBN Member (KS)
(edited)

1- Fertilizer

2- Grain Sorghum

3- Sub Surface Drip Irrigation

Verified FBN Member (MT)

Would be interested in more information on your drip irrigation

Verified FBN Member (MN)

Tile

Bins

Independent agronomist

Verified FBN Member (KS)

Quality Employees. Grain handling system. Sprayer.

Verified FBN Member (MN)

1 drain tile

2 grain storage

3 sprayer

Verified FBN Member (MN)

We are blessed to have high quality employees that make it possible to all the work done.

Verified FBN Member (NE)

1) Grain Storage/Dryer

2) Sprayer

3) Knowing Cale Carlson

Verified FBN Member (NE)

😎

Verified FBN Member (NE)

That’s a good looking mug on a good looking mug!

Verified FBN Member (KS)

1- Agronomist

2- Correct seed varieties

3- Marketing prior to planting

4- Trustworthy custom farmer

Verified FBN Member (NE)

Interesting that so many feel like a sprayer is very high on their list. I would be interested to hear why that sprayer brings so much return? Is it a practice that you are doing on your own acres? Or is it a custom spraying scenario? I was actually contemplating getting rid of our sprayer. Seems for the custom rate that I can have it done timely it was a no brained to have someone else out there doing it. My operation has limited man power and it seems there is a lot going on right in the middle of spraying season? Thoughts?

Verified FBN Member (MN)

My reason was bc the custom application was not getting done timely(losing yield from weed pressure) Also in my area it's only the coops that do custom spraying so I was stuck buying chemicals from them not able to shop around. I'm saving big$$$ on chemical now with my own sprayer.

Verified FBN Member (CO)

For us, it’s more timely to do it ourselves than have someone else come spray it. We will spray 8-21k acres depending on the crop rotation, input prices, & commodity prices. Doesn’t take long to pay for a 130k setup (sprayer & tender setup & you could do it for even less probably) when custom rates start at $5.50/acre.

Verified FBN Member (NE)

Thanks guys after posting I also read the post about sprayer specific ROI and much of the same was mentioned there.

Verified FBN Member (WI)
(edited)

FBN Membership and everything it entails.

Grain system.

Good help.

Verified FBN Member (AB, CAN)

Wife

Verified FBN Member (IA)

alfalfa

sprayer

fast grain conditioning equipment

Verified FBN Member (IA)

Can you Explain your thoughts on alfalfa. Do you sell it all as dry hay? Or putting it through cattle? Renting out some acres to big dairy? I have been thinking about alfalfa lately, but can't figure out how to do it In a large scale rotation with equipment needs and time to put it up....We have maybe 5-10% tillable land in rotation, have small discbine, bar rakes, and roundbaler. Thanks Sprayer is high on our list too!

Verified FBN Member (IL)

1 Tile

2 Grain Storage

3 Our own sprayer

Honorable mention: FBN

Verified FBN Member (KS)

Semi and grain hopper

On farm storage

Verified FBN Member (ND)

1. On farm grain storage/dryer

2. Machinery storage

3. Good hired help

Verified FBN Member (WY)

1. Quality and happy employees

2. Quality grain broker that works as if it’s his grain/money

3. Quality insurance to cover the risk from all angles.

Good management will always win over equipment purchases.

Verified FBN Member (MN)

Drain tile

At least one speciality crop

Good workers

Verified FBN Member (MB, CAN)

Good land

Quality help

Sprayer

Verified FBN Member (AB, CAN)

1. Definitely land

2. Hopper bins with airation

3. High clearance Sprayer

Verified FBN Member (IL)

Land is an awesome ROI, IF you can make it through that 15-30 year period to pay it off. It's like paying double to triple rate cash rent for my area.

Verified FBN Member (SD)

I agree. Renting land has allowed our operation to grow tremendously, while not being held back with large amounts of long term debt.

Verified FBN Member
Comment deleted by author
Verified FBN Member (IA)

Tile

Sprayer/Floater

Bins

Verified FBN Member (SD)

Dryer

Grain Bins

Tile

Verified FBN Member (NE)

1 Wife/ Family

2 Regenerative Farming practices saving me significant sums of money, paying less interest on operating notes and showing better ROI

3 growing seed corn and seed soybeans independently and conditioning the seed (then licensing and legally turning around and growing my own seed) Grow your own seed! Its better quality and cheaper!

4 Plant breeding, growing plants that are naturally breed to have a higher nutrient density than the seed we are all buying from Pioneer, Asgrow, Dekalb, Channel etc.

5 taking all the things listed above and utilizing them to connect direct with customers cutting out many middlemen and providing higher quality, more nutrient dense regeneratively farmed products from food and feed ingredients and for seed, feed and human food consumption

6 You tube Channel GROW THE FARM UP - it is a great marketing tool helping me a lot to connect with consumers that are looking for farm to table purchasing opportunities. check it out

Verified FBN Member (IA)

Cover crops

Planter upgrades

F2F corn

Verified FBN Member (IN)

Tile and a grain system. Nothing else is even close.

Verified FBN Member (SD)

Hiring a market company is close.

Verified FBN Member (NE)

Mr anonymous, I think drain tile sucks! Lol. Waiting on a rain in Nebraska!!! Wish I had to put drain tile in some years You can't make it muddy around here

Verified FBN Member (WA)

1. Variable Rate on three products single pass

2. Self Propelled Sprayer with a 5k gallon sprayer tender w/ premix chem tanks.

3. Fully outfitted service truck

Verified FBN Member (WI)

1. Drying and storing our own crop

2. doing our own service work as much as possible and run older high hour equipment.

doing our own spraying

Verified FBN Member (IL)

Employees

Tile

Sprayer/dry machine if you purchase wholesale cash

Verified FBN Member (MN)

1. Tile

2. A good record system to give us our cost of production and returns per acre so we can make better business and marketing decisions

3. Great people to drive the bus. You know when you have them. You miss them when you don’t.

20 years ago, Roundup would have been on this list. It was a game changer for us at the time. Things change.

Verified FBN Member (MI)

I agree with the Roundup comment ...now we are going back in time to those old chemicals that cost 3 times more per acre and need a bigger sprayer to keep up.

Verified FBN Member (CA)

Wife

She does all the banking ag department paperwork and the rest of the government paperwork and still finds time to launch my boat!!

Verified FBN Member (OK)
(edited)

1) Managing Wheat and Corn in-season nitrogen using N-Rich strips and GreenSeeker ($10-$20 per acre added return in avg year for $15,000 1-time equipment investment)

2) Kuhn Knight PS270 manure spreader with AccuSpread ($70,000 1-time equipment purchase. $50+/acre lower litter cost this year with ability to spread wet, sticky layer litter that company could not sell to other farmers - 95% of farmers in my area can only spread dry poultry litter)

3) Self-propelled sprayer ($250,000 1-time purchase in 2014. Avg $5/ac savings through flexibility to buy chems from any retailer. About $2/ac lower cost (including depreciation) to run my own vs custom hire. Hard to value but REALLY BIG - my fields are always first in line to be sprayed!) I log acres covered - 11,000 to 12,000 per year - so direct savings are $75,000/yr not counting application timeliness bonus.

Verified FBN Member (OR)

Tile and Lime

Verified FBN Member (WI)

After last year nothing wheat was a bust with half of the crop winter killed the other half yielded less than half what it should have, all because of late planting an harsh winter and lingering cold into late late spring, corn planting didnt start till june 2 with only 1/2 of the acres expected gotten planted only average yield and 51-52 lbs test wt only average price, beans were late with yields high 30's low 40's hay was short because of cool wet saturated ground, corn is usually our saviour but at this point nothing looks good!

Verified FBN Member
Response deleted by author
Verified FBN Member (NE)

Grain bins, sprayer, high speed planter

Verified FBN Member (SD)

Grain trading account #1

Verified FBN Member (IA)

Tile, Grid soil sampling, and sprayer.

Verified FBN Member
Response deleted by author
Verified FBN Member (NE)

My response to a sprayer is that many people have their spraying custom done. It’s not considered an essential piece of equipment like a planter. Combines are a horrible investment but compared to custom hire, do provide a positive ROI for most operations. Combines are expensive to own, expensive to operate, expensive to repair. Sprayers are the exact opposite in most cases. Very easy to recoup cost by spraying your own acres, when you want them sprayed and also have the ability to use generics in most cases.

Verified FBN Member (CO)

Yes, my sprayer has a much higher rate or return that the planter. Being able to go spray on my schedule and not wait my turn in line is huge. I can hire custom planting for $12-14/acre. There's enough guys looking for custom work that my acres would get planted in a reasonable time frame. Custom applicators here aren't plentiful. So you either wait in line and maybe miss your window, which then leads to different and in most cases more expensive chemicals or you own your own setup and get it done on time. Some guys here with larger operations than ours have multiple sprayers to make sure that they get over acres when the window opens up. We have a fairly large planting window, rarely ever have to worry about being too wet. Harvest would maybe be on my top three list but there's just so much upkeep with combines, headers, and semis so while there is an ROI, it's not as big as what our sprayer pays back.

Verified FBN Member (IA)

1. Drainage

2. People (employees)

3. Relationships with business partners

Verified FBN Member (MB, CAN)
(edited)

1) Drainage, right now all I have is surface but I bought a tile plow this spring.

2) a talented full time mechanic, I haven't had a service call in 1.5 years

3) sprayer, I spray every acre I farm myself, the timing is critical when applying product I have seen a yield bump on my farm from it. I have also a major cost savings from custom app.

Verified FBN Member (MN)

Tile plow. We bought a tile plow probably 20 years ago. To date we have put in 150,000 feet of tile all on our own land and not done yet. Put in 7500 feet just last week.

Verified FBN Member (IL)

1 cover crops, 2 farm storage/shop, 3 self propelled sprayer

Verified FBN Member (IL)

Could you explain the positive returns to your cover crops and how quickly do you see the return?

Verified FBN Member (IL)

Our hill ground has high erosion potential. We were losing (est.) 2 tons of soil per acre prior to cover crops. With cover crops, more soil stays in place, water infiltration is higher, and soil structure is improved. Paying todays price for good quality land, then allowing tons of soil to leave the farm each year seems crazy too me.

Verified FBN Member (NC)

1) NKLA puts

2) ECP from 2018

3) TSLA calls

No serious, this year is a wash. It is terrible. I never knew a year could be so bad

Verified FBN Member (MB, CAN)

1-Land roller (lots of rocks on this farm)

2-Sprayer

3-Grain dryer

Verified FBN Member (MN)

1. Sprayer

2. Scraper

3. Dryer

Verified FBN Member (IA)

Good question and discussion! I think it is interesting that the sprayer is mentioned so many times. Often we see operations running larger sprayers than they need. Tendering systems need to be efficient to make a sprayer efficient. A link is below to some research we did on efficiency and sprayer operating costs. Also stay tuned for a new YouTube channel from our farm called "Inventive Farmer." We will feature some spray tender trailer ideas, sprayer operating cost thoughts from some experts, and many of the things we build on our farm.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/15MAO4ID6i-oscLsdhcq43gwQ4LyvCJQb/view?usp=sharing

Verified FBN Member (ND)
(edited)

My new rock picker made by Kongskilde (17 ft wide)

Verified FBN Member (KS)

I know there’s not a lot of wheat growers in here but a fungicide application on wheat at flag leaf has the biggest ROI in all agricultural... sometimes $13/acre can be the difference in 50 Bu... in 12 years we have never had light wheat and never lost money doing it

Verified FBN Member (ON, CAN)

Till drainage

Sprayer

Verified FBN Member (IA)
(edited)

1. Improving my personal health-loosing 80 lbs, daily 5 am workouts at the rec center

The greatest asset you will never find on a balance sheet is you…

maintain your health better than you do your equipment… you can’t be traded off at John Deere…

2. Investment into Legacy Farmer-Jace Young(knowing my numbers inside and out, making decisions based on data, not emotion)

3. Sticking the tile plow in the ground every chance I get and transition to organic agriculture on 1/4 of my operation acres.

4. Cut out custom work.. the definition of custom work should be the act of wearing out equipment just to make a payment, so you can start all over once it is paid off..

Verified FBN Member (AB, CAN)

GRAIN

Verified FBN Member (WA, AUS)

In Australia a Portable Seedcleaner in the paddock. Getting our grain into a higher segregation has made us a fortune. Sp Boomspray: not waiting for contractors to spray things like aphids in canola. Road train: for carting our grain. Same thing not waiting for a contractor. Don’t want those headers stopped.

Verified FBN Member (PA)

Wheat soybeans and finished steers

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