Resolving to Increase Your Bottom Line

“Lose weight” once again topped the list of New Year’s resolutions made for 2011. While most Americans resolve to decrease their pant size, today we’re going to talk about ways we can increase your bottom… line, that is!

If I were a full-time farmer making New Year’s Resolutions for 2011, I’d list “increase bushels per acre” at the top of my list.  Then I would resolve to:

1. Make better use of applied nitrogen fertilizers.  Those serious about averaging 300 bu/A corn will need to change the way they apply nitrogen.  They will need to manage their nutrients, probably split-applying nitrogen to achieve better utilization.  There are many variables that go into the process for writing a variable rate nitrogen recommendation, but it all starts with the soil.  That’s why Latham’s hallmark Seed2Soil® program is worth a second look for 2011. 

2. Choose corn hybrids and soybean varieties that are right for my specific farming situation.  Seed decisions shouldn’t be based strictly on price or “coffee-shop talk.” What works for your neighbor might not work for you.  That’s why, at Latham Hi-Tech Seeds, we take pride in working with our customers to help them choose hybrids and select soybeans that will maximize yields and increase profitability.

3. Embrace learning.  Use the long, winter months to learn about new products, management techniques, equipment options, etc.  Attend University Extension-sponsored training sessions and surf the Internet for new ideas and solutions.  Not only is it a good way to make use of “down time” until spring arrives, but it might also help you fight cabin fever!

4. Focus more on marketing.   More time is often spent trying to save a buck or two when purchasing seed rather than figuring out yield potential and value at harvest.  For example, a unit of Roundup Ready 2 Soybeans from Latham cost $5 more than the RR1 varieties last year.  Even a three-bushel increase netted (conservatively) $30 per acre more.  Some of our customers saw a 15-bushel yield advantage from RR2 v. RR1.  With $150 more revenue per acre, it doesn’t take long to justify the added $5 per unit in seed cost.  That’s why it’s important to set market-based goals rather than focusing merely on seed input costs

5. Determine the cost/benefit ratio.  Take a closer look at the cost/benefit ratio from changing or improving just two things in your farming operation.  Improvements could come in the way of equipment, management practices, information sources and herbicide programs.  Maximizing ROI from the seed technologies planted in each field, as well as nutrient programs and production practices, is a benefit of the second tier of Latham’s Seed2Soil program, powered by SciMax.