Managing for Profit
2015 a tough year to base decisions off of
Weather related issues, especially too much moisture in the Spring, has led to an uneven growing season in states like Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. Burrus sales agronomist Matt Montgomery says for farmers hit by excessive rains, 2015 will be a very difficult year to base decisions off of.
“My thought process on that goes like this: if you think about the way some people applied nitrogen this year; some people had to broadcast urea on top of the soil. That’s usually the less-preferred option, but we had so much rainfall that it worked out incredibly well this growing season.”
He says if that’s the lesson learned from this year, it would be misleading.
“I think you’ve learned the wrong lesson. I think the lesson of 2015 is that there is so much variability that could come at us, that we need to diversify-diversify-diversify in every area of crop production. So if we’re talking about fertility, we aren’t putting all our eggs in one basket. We’re spreading out nitrogen applications.”
Montgomery tells Brownfield the lesson is to spread out the risk.
“Similar thing with hybrid and variety selection. It’s going to be really hard to make good decisions this year off of performance because we had such an outlier year for rainfall. Same thing on disease. It’s entirely possible that some people will decide to move early on everything soybean-wise in 2016 because they never had a chance to get back in the field; I decided to wait for SDS. And next year might be the year SDS hits.”
In planning for 2016, he says there’s no silver bullet and no perfect time to plant.
“The lesson on a year like this is to plant some acres early, take some steps to minimize risk for a disease like SDS. But then I’m going to spread the rest of my planting out-to diversify. That’s what we learned in 2015-to be very diverse in our approach. Spread our risk, spread our risk, spread our risk.”
That, Montgomery says, is the lesson of 2015.