The Business of Inputs
Fertilizer specifically, it`s went up 10-15% when grain is below honest cost of production. I`m in a area where to be honest 150 is a good yield, though many of us swung for the bleachers on yield, as we always have done. So, 150 x $3.50 (ha ha) is $525 gross that you have to play with for 2019, I think fertilizer should take it`s rightful place on the chopping block with all the other inputs. Now, being a disciple of Neal Kinsey this is hard for me, in between soil tests I want to see a 16-78-150 minimum ahead of corn on the "plowdown" end of things.
I talked to a guy at Oelwein the other day, he said they got 250 corn 75 beans, well, he`s grossing $800/corn and $600 beans so it`s a no brainer to put on at least crop removal rates. Here though, a small crop has small crop removal amounts and perhaps after 4,5 subpar yields and this year very sub par (ironically the nation has 6 above trend and here in NCIA it`s sucked most of the 6yrs).
So to be a "Cody Lundin" survivalist here, going cold turkey on P&K is something you have to look at. In western Illinois there`s a guy Marion Calmer (the cornhead guy) that in HIS area doesn`t believe that additional P&K pays for itself. He has the data that only one in 5 years that plowdown pays and he runs side by side strips 60` wide and year after year he documents additional P&K doesn`t pay. The appearance of the fertilized is noticeably better and the yield is slightly better, but not enough to pay.
It`s late, the fertilizer tender trucks meet themselves coming and going over the coop scale ..ding, ding, ding so many around here are fertilizing and tiling, no shortage of maxi rolls of tile and plows putting it in on ground that must have tile laid like Arlington cemetery already, so some have distanced themselves from the economics already. But I will say this pattern tile pays, the few 220 yields you see around here were mudded in in late April and pattern tiled.
But here is Marion Calmer`s video and keep in mind as he says "this might not work on your farm", but it will be tried on this farm, next year. After years of pouring it on and not getting the desired result most of the past 5 years, it`s time to make some withdrawals from this "soil bank" while still being in the game in case $5 corn happens in 2019