For the past three years I have struggled with bringing farmers into a system that accomplishes all of the goals of the articles they read in multiple publications. These are the articles about soil health, microbes, humic and fulvic acid, hormones, etc. Simply put, there are few products out there that are properly utilized according to the conditions on each farm and from field to field for that matter. I constantly encounter the frustration that goes along with farmers reading these articles and left asking how to improve soil conditions on their farms.
At the end of the day, I have a saying that all my people know and repeat. “How do you know where you can go if you don’t know where you are?” What I mean when I say this is I want them to understand how important it is to soil sample regularly and they should strive to get the most consistent data possible in order to plan properly. With this as a great starting point, we can begin to raise the yield bar a little each year. On the flip-side of that coin, we have to understand that it is an expensive process to do this properly. Farmers are accustomed to their service company conducting soil sampling operations for “free.” I find it hard to believe that when service companies are trying to cover so many acres for the purposes of selling lime and P & K, we actually get anywhere near the accuracy we need out of the soil sample results.
So now that I have been implementing these practices I am seeing positive results develop on farms that most would abandon because there is a difficult change that has to occur. As growers are learning that change doesn’t happen in one season or with one trial, and it takes time and effort to reverse the conditions that keep them from improving yield, there is a real chance that farms become sustainable. Also, with the concerns they have over EPA regulations that we haven’t begun to imagine over the next 5 to 10 years, farmers are feeling more confident they will be way ahead of the curve should those regulations be imposed on their operations. I am truly blessed to have the customer base and personnel in my organization. They are the true champions and deserve all the credit for sticking with me and being progressive.