3 Things That Can Make You More Money THIS Year 💰

We’re traveling to the commodity classic today and while our flight is delayed we have been thinking of ways to help YOU have a better 2019.

So the question is how do we do that? Well we came up with 3 things that we think will help your farm this year.

#1 – Pick your top 5. Who are the 5 people who are going to influence you the most? Are they people who want the best for you? We all tend to be the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with. Iron sharpens iron and maybe it’s time to change who we spend our time with. We hope that you spend time with people who are positive, progressive and passionate about agriculture.

#2 – Find a mentor who does things not only different from you but also better than you. If you want to move to a new level for yields and profit on your farm spending time from someone who is always learning and studying is one of the fastest ways for you to do that. Our family has had the privilege of being mentored by people like Jerry Cox (24 time NCGA Winner), Francis Childs (Dry land corn highest yield producer), Dennis Dammen (progressive agronomist) & Charles W Herbster (Conklin’s Owner & Farmer from Nebraska. Pictured Below). The things these men have taught us have been invaluable over the years and I truly hope you can have someone in your life that can help you like they have helped us.

#3 Attend Conferences & Trade Shows. If you can get ONE good idea from an ag event it’s worth your time, effort, & investment. One good idea is worth the $500 fee or $1,000 fee or whatever the cost may be because one good idea can make you money!

If you’re traveling to Orlando to the Commodity Classic be sure to stop by the A Better Way to Farm booth 554 – we would love to meet you!

We hope that these 3 things will bring profit to your farm and if you’re looking for someone you can learn from and network with comment here or text Karen at 641-919-5570 and we’ll be happy to see if we can help!

Are PGR’s Worth It?

PGR

Hello Everyone, Today we are sharing more research from Top End Farming on their farm in Northern Illinois.  2018 was a year full of changes and weather challenges but it was a great learning experience. They experienced heavy rains all year which challenged everything from emergence to making timely spray passes. Having wet feet all year certainly knocked a lot of the Top End yield potential out, but it also provided a great learning opportunity for us all.

Dan pulled soil tests in the fall of 2017 to see what was needed and at what rates. Everything we do is based off of specific soil tests, field by field.  So, we’re not throwing blind darts at the wall wasting ANY money. This is why we highly recommend everyone uses MidWest Labs from Omaha, NE to run independent soil tests.

Today we are talking about two growth regulators. One being X-cyto and the other being a brand product new product Intensify. X-cyto is a liquid formula and has a soil and foliar version available. Intensify is a granule product recommended for in-furrow and foliar applications.

Intensify yielded 262.04bpa at a cost of $4/acre (out yielding check by 11.28 bpa)

Foliar Xcyto yielded 263.73bpa at a cost of $12.65/acre (out yielding check by 12.97 bpa)

Check Strip yielded 250.76bpa

The test strips had over a 40bpa difference

We also had two 12 row strips planted with the intention to harvest for corn silage to measure tonnage and feed value differences. While we were able to get analysis on the strips we weren’t able to have them chopped due to extreme rains, tar spot killing the plants off early, and time constraints from our custom chopping crew.

We used Soil X-cyto in furrow along with everything the soil test called for on our treated strip and also on our own production acres. Our production acres yielded 6ton/acre over 2017. The test strips had over a 40bpa difference when harvested which we’re sure would have made for a significant tonnage difference also.

Silage check strip: 198.43bpa       Silage X-cyto strip: 240.50bpa

Are You Using a Nitrogen Stabilizer That Works?

N Stabilizer Cover

Hello Everyone and over the next few weeks we are going to be sharing research from Top End Farming from two years of research at their farm in Northern Illinois.  They studied tons of different products and had dozens and dozens of replications with a big emphasis on micro-nutrients. 2018 was a year full of changes and weather challenges but it was a great learning experience. Dan from Top End Farming used a 4 row plot planter. They experienced heavy rains all year which challenged everything from emergence to making timely spray passes. Having wet feet all year certainly knocked a lot of the Top End yield potential out, but it also provided a great learning opportunity for us all.  The studies on starter formulations were eye opening and so were the nitrogen studies. More N isn’t always the answer to yellow corn. 😉

Dan pulled soil tests in the fall of 2017 to see what was needed and at what rates. Nitrogen was sprayed on behind the planter at a rate of 60gal of 32% unless otherwise noted. Mid-season the entire plot was Y-dropped with 10gal. 32% and 5gal. of ATS.

While Dan strives to maintain this as an independent plot, we are indeed distributors with Conklin and we firmly believe you will not find a higher quality product anywhere. Conklin also provides top end knowledge sharing.

Everything we do is based off of specific soil tests, field by field.  So, we’re not throwing blind darts at the wall wasting ANY money. This is why we highly recommend everyone uses MidWest Labs from Omaha, NE to run independent soil tests. We look forward to sharing results with you over the next few weeks!

First up, the Nitrogen study.  It was conducted using three different rates of 32% and two different stabilizers. 40, 50, and 60 gallon rates were used stand alone and with Instinct and Guardian.

Instinct has an active ingredient of nitrapyrin.  It is a popular stabilizer but comes with a down side of causing corrosion and destroying soil bacteria.

Guardian has an active ingredient of dicyandiamide.  It is non-corrosive to your equipment and doesn’t kill valuable soil bacteria.

Guardian

  • Plot #34: 40 gallon 32%UAN and 1.5qt Guardian yielded 217.34bpa
  • Plot #35: 40gallon 32%UAN and 24oz. of Instinct yielded 212.65bpa

Guardian out yielded competitor by 4.69 BPA

  • Plot #36: 40 Gallon 32%UAN yielded 213bpa
  • Plot #37: 50 Gallon 32%UAN yielded 208.12bpa

Guardian out yielded competitor by 4.88 BPA

  • Plot #38: 50 Gallon 32%UAN and 24oz. of Instinct yielded 235.01bpa
  • Plot #39: 50 Gallon 32%UAN and 1.5qt Guardian yielded 279.72bpa

Guardian out yielded competitor by 44.71 BPA

  • Plot #40: 60 Gallon 32%UAN and 1.5qt of Guardian yielded 276.28bpa
  • Plot #41: 60 Gallon 32%UAN and 24oz. of Instinct yielded 265.43bpa
  • Plot #42: 60 Gallon 32%UAN yielded 250.27bpa

Guardian out yielded competitor by 10.85

Cost of both stabilizers is $9/acre

N Stabilizer

Please note: at the beginning of the 2018 season Dan approached several other local retailers in his area and offered his soil test and some strips in the plot to see how their products would compare they all admittedly refused to take part and therefore the few competitive products in the trials were obtained from their customers.

The Seed Treatment That Provided an ROI of of $33.13 per acre.

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Amplify-D (Dry Formula) and Amplify-L (Liquid Formula) are our world class award winning seed emergence aids. This product contain an additional amount of the adenosine monophosphate (AMP) that is found naturally in seeds.

amp-d

By providing the seed with additional AMP and fertilizer, seedling vigor is enhanced and emergence is improved. The plant gets off to a quicker, more uniform start and performs better over the growing season. That translates into the potential for faster maturity, better yields and higher profits. Seeds treated with Amplify are better able to withstand stressful cold & wet conditions that are commonly experienced during planting.

Here is how Amplify performed in Shannon, IL in 2018

  • Amplify-D produced 249.51bpa 8.24bpa increase over the check $26.34 ROI
  • Amplify-L produced 249.60bpa 8.33bpa increase over the check $26.16 ROI
  • Check strip yielded 241.27bpa

ROI was figured using $3.50 corn and $2.50/ac cost for Amplify-D and $3/ac cost for Amplify-L

10.18 bpa and $33.13 Return on Investment.png

2 year average on Amplify-D at research location in Northern IL is 10.18 bpa and $33.13 Return on Investment

 

Special thanks to Dan from Top End Farming for providing this research for more info send him a message on Facebook.

The 1st Thing You NEED To Do Before Plant 19

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Today, we want to talk about some low hanging fruit for our grain farmers. The bottom line is this, we don’t know what the spring it’s going to be, but it would appear that we have all the makings of some weird weather.  At least in Southeast Iowa it’s looking that way.  We had a very dry summer in 2018 and followed that with getting our average annual rainfall in September and October and went off into some snow in November. December was like first spring and then in January and February we have had a really intense winter with record low temps and record amounts of snow fall. I think our school has had 2 full days since Christmas break. So banking on the fact that we’ll have a normal spring seems like a bad idea.

Here’s what we do know… when it’s time to go plant corn we’ve got to plant corn. Sometimes we have to go to the field a little early.  Quite often after we plant, it turns off cold and damp.  Have you ever planted at an air temperature of 67 out and three days later, it’s 41 degrees and raining. Sometimes it’ll stay that way for a while and that is HARD on your corn seed. So, what can we do to help those little corn plant? One of the things that we do on our farm, and that we recommend, is using Amplify-D. Amplify is seed treatment with the active ingredient of adenosine monophosphate.

amp-d

It costs about $2.50 an acre on corn at wholesale pricing. The typical response is 3-13 bushel per acre. If you get into the Beck’s PFR book, I believe the average over the last three years is 13.56 per acre. So, if you’re open to spending 2.50 to get back $13.56 consider Amplify.  Adenosine monophosphate is just simply an energy source to help that little seed get up and growing out of the ground. It helps aid in even emergence, increases plants per acre that come up and helps your seed get out of the ground to capture sunlight.  It gives each seed a GOOD start getting more energy until it comes out of the ground to receive sunlight.  Ever grass seed has a tiny bit of adenosine monophosphate naturally so we ramp that up when applying amplify.

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So guys, if you’re open to giving EVERY seed you plant the best start possible and packing it a little sack lunch of energy to help it get through to sunshine for $2.50 and getting back over $13 text Karen at 641-919-5570 to get your order placed before the spring rush hits!

Got Baby Calves On The Way?

Got Baby Calves On The Way_

Happy Monday Farmers! Today we’re going to switch gears for a little bit and we’re going to talk to the cow/calf guys.  We’re going to share a little bit about how to make your life better. If you’re getting ready to calve this is perfect for you.  We all know spring calving can be stressful. Sometimes the weather is not conductive to we want. From freezing temps to cold damp rain it’s almost invariably something happens. So what can we do to improve overall calf health? On our farm, we feed every animal fast track fast track, a live powdered microbial product that we mix in their daily feed. It’s a maintenance dose of about an ounce per head per day.  We do that regularly, because anytime we can improve the health of the digestive tract, we do. It causes us to have less trouble and improved overall health.

For calves specifically, what we want to do is give it a good source of energy from the minute it’s up and moving. When that calf hits the ground, we give it a dose of jumpstart gel. Jumpstart is like jumper cables for the newborn calf’s digestive track. Getting their stomach on the right start from the beginning saves a lot of head aches down the road. Each calf is born with a sterile stomach and the question is do the good bacteria get in there and start reproducing or do the bad bacteria get a head start and create problems?

Getting a calf's stomach on the right start from the beginning saves a lot of problems & head aches down the road..png

For example if a new baby calf is in the mud and gets his tongue in the mud there’s a good chance he’ll get a little manure and all of a sudden he’s got a belly ache and we have a problem. Our goal is to make sure that the good bacteria wins the race. And so we give him a dose of the jump start gel. By doing that, the calf becomes more aggressive when eating and his appetite improves.  That makes rate of gain better. Want an added bonus? Less of a scours.  We hardly EVER have a scours problem in new born calves or bottle calves and that’s because our calves only have good bacteria in their stomachs.

So, here’s the deal, regardless of if you have 2 cows or 2,000 cows Fastrack is a way to make your life easier and make your farm better and more profitable. If you’d be open to trying Fastrack on your farm or in getting more information and seeing how it can help your calving comment here or text Karen at 641-919-5570.

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3 Things About Change

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Happy Wednesday – I hope today finds you warm and safe from all the ICE we have in Southeast Iowa. We have had a tremendous amount of ice here at the farm and it has been interesting just getting in and out doing chores. Some of you might’ve seen our posts from the attempting to unload three cows on Saturday. I hope you found that a little bit humorous. My chiropractor found it humorous yesterday. We just got back home from Ankeny Pro Ag. We had a great time up there. Shout out to the 65 guys that we got to set through the two day fundamentals of agronomy training with. Lots of ideas picked up and it was a blast to be a part of.  The coolest part about what we do is meeting and learning from the world’s best farmers.

Today we want to talk about “Three Things About Change.”

Number one, the fertility portion of the Ag industry hates change. They are so resistant to change that it’s almost unbelievable. Why is that? Well, there’s several reasons.

  1. we all tend to just want to do it exactly like we used to do it.
  2. It’s easier just to continue down the same path and not make any corrections and not doing anything differently.
  3. I say all the time but everything that happens in Ag is good for somebody. The question is, is it good for you?

Is what your fertility dealer or consultant is telling you to do good for you or is it good for them?  If we know the industry hates change, we have to think about why. Is it because there’s a vested interest financially? There are billions of dollars of infrastructure and certain kinds of tool bars and certain kinds of spreader trucks and certain kinds of buildings to handle certain kinds of materials. So regardless of what’s best for you, they’re going to keep doing what they’re doing because that’s what’s best for them.  I want to empower you to ask the question. “Why?” Are you open to asking the question “why”? Why do you want me to do that? Why should I do it this way instead of this way? Let’s make sure the answer is because it’s what is most important for you!

Fact number two is that change is necessary to be more profitable! If I go back to 1965 when maybe you were farming, maybe your dad was farming, maybe your grandpa was farming. You’re not using the same planter. Why? Because change was necessary to be profitable. We went to better planters. In 1965. Farmers were using a four row planter that was 38 to 42 inches wide.  Change was necessary to make more money. In 1965, it was all open station tractors and farmers health deteriorated and we weren’t doing things the way we should have. Change was necessary to make life better.

Copy of Copy of What micro-nutrient affects photosynthesis, chlorophyll, Nitrogen utilization, plant health, standability & more_

And so we’ve got better tractors and we’ve got better planters. In 1965, the seed corn industry was really just starting to get rolling on cross pollination and doing the things that they could do to produce better hybrids and change was necessary. They had a hard time growing 100 Bushel. Today you have hybrids that grow 300-400 Bushel. Change was necessary. Change has been necessary everywhere. We don’t use old barge boxes to hold our corn anymore. Why? Because we couldn’t get rid of our corn 80 Bushel at a time with a tractor to the elevator. So now we have a 1,000 – 1,500 Bushel grain carts and now we have semis because we got to go faster because change is necessary to make more money.  And yet somehow in the industry of fertilizer people think change isn’t unnecessary? We just hang onto it. We just do it the same old way. We go out and we dry broadcast, just like grandpa did in ’65. Guys change is necessary to be more profitable.  If you’re advisers are telling you that you’ll never, ever, ever need micronutrients, RUN AWAY FROM THEM. Let’s think about it… There’s 30,000-50,000 pounds of potassium in every acre of soil and the Midwest and yet we apply potash because we need it.

But somehow even though our corn crop takes zinc, sulfur, boron, manganese or copper.  If your soil tests aren’t recommending ANY micros or secondary’s it might be time to ask why.   It’s not 1965. It’s 2019. It’s not sufficient anymore to just look at CEC and P1 and P2. We need to look at organic matter, we need to look at base saturation and we need to look at zinc and manganese and copper and boron and sulfur and look at all of the nutrients because change is necessary if you’re going to be more profitable.

Lastly, the third thing about change is someone to guide us has great value. We’re looking for some of you who are open to make a change. To say yes, I understand change is necessary. To say, “yeah, I want to find someone who will help guide me through this and will give me direction and the direction that they’re going to give me is going to be based on a whole lot of other people that they’ve helped guide through change and that they’ve helped guide into more profit.”  That’s what we’re looking for.

The bottom of my business card simply says “if you’re looking for a better way…” That’s it. If you’re perfectly content, you don’t want to make a change, that’s awesome, God bless you. However, if you believe firmly that this industry is fighting change tooth and nail and if you believe that you need someone to help guide you through that then give us a call. 641-919-1206.

I’d love five people who would make a decision to meet me in Lincoln, Nebraska on Monday morning at 8:30, and we’ll talk about how to guide you through the change and then we’ll have a 100% money back no risk guarantee. You come, you take a look and see if this is going to be what’s going to help you make a change and makes you 15 to 50 bucks an acre. I will personally guarantee it. There really is a better way to do this. And if you’re interested in making a change, we want to help you. Hope you have a better evening.

How a Farm Family From a County with Zero Stoplights Reaches YOU

The world has never moved faster or been more informed but it never ceases to amaze me much more we have to learn and teach especially in the agricultural industry. While our profession includes only 2% of the US population it effects every American.

In 2012 our facebook page was created. In 2013 I got intentional about posting every day. In 2015 after I graduated college we hired a business marketing coach to help us grow and impact more people and it was the single best investment we ever made. Since then A Better Way to Farm has taken off. We have impacted millions of people. Gained over 100 clients, many of which are now close friends. Best of all we have served and helped the American Farmer in ways we never dreamed possible.

Partnering with Facebook has allowed us a platform that continues to grow every day with every post we make. Our reach has grown from Iowa to the Midwest to the whole United States, to a global scale now. So allow us the opportunity to say THANK YOU for being here!

A Better Way to Farm is a community for inspiring, educating, and serving the worlds most noble profession. Most importantly, We have encouraged farmers to ask “why.”

Today we stepped foot on the place that changed everything for us and a ripple effect to millions more, Facebook Headquarters. So thankful for this opportunity to grow! 🌽

-Karen