Contrary to what it looks like outside my window right now, it is officially spring. Eventually the snow will recede and the warmth will return and the ice and frost will disappear just long enough to eek out another crop from the prairie soil (apparently I wax poetic after 5 full months of winter).
When spring does actually arrive in practice instead of just in theory, farmers are already facing a much different growing season than last year. Crop prices have not fared well in the face of high production, a harsh winter and slow grain movement. For some, the knee-jerk reaction is to cut costs. For others, tight cash flow because of poor grain movement is legitimately hampering purchasing decisions. While farming efficiently should always be a goal, some inputs — fertilizer, for example — have dependably high ROIs, making them the wrong place to try and scale back. So how do you get more from what you put in to the crop? I discuss that in my opening bit in this podcast (then, I recommend you take a search through the site and find a few interviews we’ve done on establishment, fertilizer placement and fungicide timing. Trust me, it’s worth the time.)
Moving on from inputs, some farmers are choosing diversifying crop rotations as a hedge against low prices, and rightly so. For those who always have specialty crops in rotation, field selection and input management is old hat, but for those of you considering crops like mustard, lentils or flax for 2014, these are different beasts than wheat and canola. These crops are going to need some extra care and attention. Joining me for that conversation is Alyesa Attema, with Cargill out of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.
The Agronomy Geeks podcast is brought to you by Cargill. Visit AskTheExpertNetwork.Ca to learn more.
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