If you ask farmers about their biggest concerns going into the 2023 planting season, you might hear “input costs” every time. To say prices have increased is an understatement: they’ve been on the rise for months.
As a farmer, your goal is to get the maximum return from your investment. But market prices are making it significantly more difficult to achieve yield goals without breaking the bank.
Unfortunately, we can’t control swings in input prices – but we can help you take the reins and maximize what you have.
Let’s take a look at what you can do ahead of planting season to balance your yield goals with the realities of today’s input costs.
Setting Yield Goals
For many farmers, balance is the key to success. Yield goals should be realistic and achievable, but should also challenge the farmer to strive for greater production.
Setting the right yield goals is an important part of finding some equilibrium between income and expenses. To set these goals, you should consider the current prices of inputs like fertilizer, seed, and fuel, as well as the current market price of your crop.
You should also take into consideration data from past years, excluding the outliers. For example, take years with weather-related disasters (and their ensuing lower yields) out of the equation.
Once you’ve gathered all the data for each field, compared it to past years’ data, and evaluated current market conditions, aim to set your yield goals 5-10% above each field’s average.
Consider Your Inputs
Based on 2023 projections, input costs for corn and soybeans have jumped 44% and 38%, respectively, since 2020. Expect 2023 prices to increase significantly – and your ROI per acre to decrease.
Calculating all these costs can help you better understand the correlation between input costs, your yield goals, and expected profit. With this data, you can make better input purchase decisions. It’ll also help you draw the line between what your farm needs – and what you want.
Ways to Reduce Your Costs
A sure way to reduce your costs in 2023 is reconsidering your fertilizer and chemical needs.
These expenses can quickly add up, so it’s important to compare different brands and types to find the most cost-effective choices. Additionally, your timing and accuracy of fertilizer and chemical applications are key to both maximizing efficiency and reducing current and future input costs.
For liquid products, focus on careful calibration, as well as precision control to avoid overlaps. Properly follow labeled rates and know how much product you’re applying in each pass. If there’s an opportunity to purchase less and decrease your input costs, that can make a huge difference in your yearly profit.
In addition, utilizing soil and tissue tests can help you maximize your applications (and your yields). These tests can ensure you’re choosing the right product that will give you the best value for your money.
In the face of rising input costs, it’s important to find adaptable methods to maximize your yield potential and improve profitability. Our team stands ready to help you make a budget-friendly plan for your input and yield needs. Reach out to your local agronomist or district sales manager for any questions or concerns.