Composting Systems, Waste Management and Soil Fertility Blog

What matters more to you? Crop yields or profit margin per acre of crops?

Posted by Midwest Bio Systems on Thu, Feb 16, 2017 @ 19:02 PM


What matters more to you?

How to make sure that crop yields are maximized?

How to make sure that the profit margin is maximized per acre of crops?

Let me tell you a story which happened to me that may shed light on this subject. When I was a young teenager in the mid 1970's, my father took me to a meeting one evening where a world renowned farmer was going to share some of his successes. This farmer's name was Herman Warsaw and he had officially grown 370 bushels per acre. This had been verified and made the news worldwide!

He went through many examples of what he did to get the soil to the place where he was able to produce substantial yields on his farm, even before he entered the high yield competition of growing corn. He was applying substances to help decompose his crop residues. He got his soil to become aerobic 10" - 12" deep so that the root zone, which is the area where his roots were able to feed on nutrients, would have plenty of air.

He showed pictures of how well his crop residues were broken down by the 1st of June. He showed photos of his beautiful corn crop. He needed to till his soil only once in the spring before planting, and it was ready to plant. He had the soil well drained. He showed a general example of his fertilizer program. All of these things were very effective, and in fact, critical factors to have high yields.

Just before the meeting ended, one last question was posed: "How many bushels of corn did he need to get to break even, after for paying his production costs?"

His answer was a bomb shell type of a response. He needed 307 bushels per acre to break even! His margin was only 63 bushels per acre.

He had the highest of yields of any that we had heard of at that time! There were reports of 200 bushels per acre but never that high. 130 to 160 bushels were common reports and at the time we were getting 130 to 140 bushels per acre in some of the years. In 1974 we had gotten much less than that as we had a blight that year.

But with our 140 bushels per acre, we had a break even cost of 75 bushels per acre which gave us a margin of 65 bushels per acre. 2 bushels more of corn per acre than the world record holder at that time!

This taught me a valuable lesson! We are looking for the highest profit margin per acre. While there are many factors that lead to highest yields, what we want to focus on are the highest return per acre, per bushel of crops.

Come to our Composting Seminar this Friday at the Wyndham Visalia to see how we manage per acre margins using humus compost technology! 

Also stop by our booth at the World Ag Expo this week. I hope to see you there!

Edwin Blosser

Soil Biologist and Founder of Midwest BioSystems

Tags: compost, Midwest Bio-Systems, crop, crop yields, yields, profit margin