Wednesday, March 10, 2010


A family friend called and has an opportunity, one I and most of us never had. He has the chance to take over the family farming operation.

Wouldn't you know the battery died on the phone. That happens to us a lot. You think maybe we talk too much?
We finally got back together and started talking notill. I could quickly tell he has studied his lesson and had a good plan for this year. He said all the right things and asked thr right questions. I think he needed approval from someone he knows. I know he respects my opinion and that is a high honor and challenge for me. If I give advice, I want it to WORK.

I had my little opportunity at age 54 and put my ideas right to work. And they have worked, enabling us to expand by planting right, quicker and taking on more acres.

The first question he raised, raised my eyebrow. He is in ag sales and has the flexibility to do this and farm. So he knows all the major programs out there and asked about two that I question.

They are very good companies and might really help him. I don't use them because I can duplicate their program for much less cost with basic, sound agronomy. Soil test and tissue testcomes right up in these discussions because we get lazy and don't do them. Then some bright young, aggressive salesman wants to sell you this fancy product you may not need.

You have read my stand on notill, balanced fertility and profit. That is the easiest way to make money growing crops. Sounds like it is time to invite the young man over and maybe go see a couple of planter setups.

I forgot to ask him about crop insurance. Is he going "naked" this first year? That means no coverage. If you have to borrow much money it is usually demanded. If you don't, it can still be a good tool. The new enterprise units have brought our cost way down on this farm.

Marketing the crop is the most challenging to me. We never got to talk about that either but there is enough to learn with the planter and the soil test for basics. That's an all week seminar right there.

I love a challenge. Sounds like I have another one.

I love helping young people and this one will do it right.


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