Survey Results: Growers More Interested In Boosting Yields Than Cost Cutting

Farmers are more than twice as likely to be motivated by how high they can get their yields than by lowering their cost of unit of production. That’s according to a recent survey Millennium Research completed for the Precision Ag Institute.

Seventy four percent of farmers strongly agreed that they are motivated to see how high they can get their yields, and many of them are paying keen attention to potential limiting factors, incorporating practices such as soil testing for micronutrients, or running side-by-side field comparisons, in order to make sure they are on the right track.

These panelists are ambitious, aiming for an average of 241 bushels of corn per acre. The US record high average corn yield was last year, at 171 bushels per acre (USDA). So it makes perfect sense that these growers say they are currently 76% of the way toward their ultimate yield goal.

So what is going to help them reach their yield goals? What do these growers think can be a game changer in increasing yields? What new technologies are they looking for?

The same things that got them here are going to help them reach the next level, they believe, as the most frequent answer to the question: What will help you reach your yield goals? “Better genetics.”

Game changers include even greater precision in the way they approach crop nutrient, moisture and field management, and a greater ability to detect and address potential yield limiters early, before they can restrain the yield potential of the crop.

While the confidentiality we promised during completion of the survey means we can’t share the names of the people who offer these thoughts, the results show growers are continually working on making record yields every year.

These responses come primarily from Midwest corn and soybean growers, so many farmers gave a nod to the impact of the weather.

“I don’t really like setting a ‘yield goal’ I use technologies like strip-till, precision planting equipment on the planter, y-drop and undercover from 360 yield center to maximize what I can produce in a given year based on growing conditions presented to me.” -IL grower

Growers want more ability to predict crop conditions and have more precise control on more of the inputs used by their crop to grow.

“Maturing the technologies available. Granularity to be able to manage product application to the same level we do seed (a sq ft). A game changer would be a practical method of varying nutrient formulation on the fly based on soil test zones and yield goals.” -NY grower

“The ability of the fertilizers to become plant available at the correct times of the year. At the same time having a system that can help you determine if another nutrient application is needed before the deficiency symptoms appear on the plant.” -ND grower

“A game changer is ability to manage water in the soil and sunlight falling on the plant. If I can manage the water, I can manage the fertility. Great value could come from the ability to precisely apply crop inputs within the root zone during the growing season without disturbing either the roots or the residue. We are growing sunlight factories remember.” -OH grower

Some growers point out that for all the advances in crop yields and agronomic science, there are still mysteries to explore in the soil. That soil characteristics and behavior can have a large impact on the ability of farmers to increase their yields, and that today, there is a time lag between being able to see a problem and being able to address it.

“To increase yields, we need a better understanding of soil characteristics. Ability to analyze crop needs more feasibly then tissue sampling.” -IL grower

“Nutrient placement, timing and needs management will help me reach my goals. Game changer….being able to measure and predict nutrients needs based on soil type, weather events and hybrid/variety response.” -WI grower

“I think I need to be able to optimize the amount of water applied as well as the nutrient levels in my orchards and keep them at optimal levels all year. A game changer would be real time monitoring and fertigation controlled by current soil samples.” -CA grower

Others point out that genetics in crops other than corn need to make the same advances corn has in the past 20 years. Not just the yield potential, but the ability of the crop to fight off the pests that are robbing yield potential now, as well as doubling potential yield through changing the shape of a crop.

“To reach my yield goal, soybean yields have to improve. Insect resistance traits would help. Plant growth stimulants may play a role. Finding a way to manage increasing corn residue would likely help too. Corn that would produce two good viable ears would be a game changer.” -IA grower

“Narrow row corn, newer corn and bean hybrids. Wheat with better disease resistance. More research on which cover crops have economic impact on cash crops.” -OH grower

Compaction is still limiting yields, and some growers would like to see equipment innovations that are able to reduce or remove soil compaction.

“I would like to see less compacting planting and harvesting equipment, esp. the combine. That could be a game changer.” -IL grower

“Game changer: apply products without compaction, ex. drone applied pesticides, economically.” -MI grower

Will we see drones able to apply pesticides economically? Will corn ever regularly have two ears? Can we learn more about the mysteries of soil and environmental interaction with crop genetics so that every acre is the most productive it can be?

That’s the type of technology these growers see as yield game changers. It’s a big challenge for industry and inventors alike. But rest assured, 74% of growers see increasing yield as the most important job they have.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Growers Stories
Craige Mackenzie
GrowersAgribusiness: Efficiency Through Precision Farming
September 6, 2016
Craige MacKenzie travelled recently to St Louis, MO, to receive the award of Precision Agriculture Farmer of the Year from Read More
GrowersFarmers Find New Ways To Profit With Precision Ag
August 19, 2016
Steve Cubbage has seen that precision agriculture use has been closely tied to farmers’ ability to see a profit from Read More
Filling The Planter from Cab
GrowersPrecision Farming Act Would Give Farmers Access To Broadband Internet
July 26, 2016
Like it’s done for many other industries, the internet is improving the agricultural sector. Farmers are making more use of Read More
Philippines banana farming
GrowersInternet of Things Ushers Precision Farming In The Philippines
July 6, 2016
Who says agriculture is a low-tech enterprise? Not conglomerate Calata Corp., which has partnered with Austrian firm Pessl Instruments GmbH Read More
Trending Articles
Ian Yule, ISPA
ResearchLeading Ag Technology Researcher Appointed ISPA President
September 26, 2016
Massey University’s Professor Ian Yule, one of the world’s leading agri-tech researchers, has been voted president of the International Society Read More
Business2016 Farm Science Review: Talkin’ New Products, Education and Big Data
September 21, 2016
The Ohio State University’s Farm Science Review has become an annual rite of fall for Buckeye State growers, retailers and Read More
Mitchell Technical Institute students with drone
IntegratorsMTI Precision Ag Students Use Drone Technology
September 19, 2016
After weeks of sitting in the classroom, several Mitchell Technical Institute students were able to spend a few hours outside Read More
Robotics AGCO Fendt Guide Connect
Market ImpactReport: Ag Robots And Drones May Be A $10 Billion Market By 2022
September 7, 2016
Robots and drones have begun to quietly transform many aspects of agriculture. In fact, the IDTechEx Research report on Agricultural Read More
SDWG Bret Weisenburger
BusinessMZB Technologies, Climate FieldView Announce Data Integration for 2017 Season
September 6, 2016
MZB Technologies announces a data connectivity agreement with The Climate Corporation, a subsidiary of Monsanto Co., providing increased precision agriculture Read More
Deere R4023 cab
BusinessReport: Smart Agriculture Market Worth $19 Billion By 2021
September 6, 2016
Research and Markets has announced the addition of the “Smart Agriculture Market – With Forecast (2016-2021)” report to their offering. Read More
Latest News
Sentera Rise Above
BusinessRise Above Selected To Resell Sentera Solutions Through…
September 28, 2016
Sentera, LLC, a global provider of remote sensing hardware and data management solutions signs a reseller agreement with Rise Above Read More
Western Canada Wheat field
DataFarmers Edge Partners With New Holland Dealer
September 28, 2016
Farmers Edge, a global leader in precision agriculture and independent data management solutions, has partnered with Mazergroup, North America’s largest Read More
A Satshot NDVIR analysis running on an iPad.
BusinessSatshot’s Landscout IOS Now API Linked With John …
September 28, 2016
Satshot’s Landscout IOS mobile software is now connected with the John Deere Operations Center through John Deere’s API services. Landscout Read More
Ag Drone
BusinessDroneDeploy Launches Turbo Uploader
September 27, 2016
DroneDeploy today announced a new solution that addresses drone data portability challenges in remote areas that have Internet bandwidth constraints. Read More
FUSE Farm Graphic
DataAGCO Is Founding Member Of The DKE Data-Hub Initiative
September 26, 2016
AGCO Corp., a world-leading manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment, has announced its participation as a founding member of the DKE Read More
Ian Yule, ISPA
ResearchLeading Ag Technology Researcher Appointed ISPA Preside…
September 26, 2016
Massey University’s Professor Ian Yule, one of the world’s leading agri-tech researchers, has been voted president of the International Society Read More
BusinessADAPT Conversion Toolkit Making In Roads With Equipment…
September 22, 2016
A leading group of equipment manufacturers will soon release products that greatly enhance a grower’s ability to manage data across Read More
Business2016 Farm Science Review: Talkin’ New Products, Educati…
September 21, 2016
The Ohio State University’s Farm Science Review has become an annual rite of fall for Buckeye State growers, retailers and Read More
Farmers Edge Truck
DataFarmers Edge Awarded $6.1M Investment From Sustainable …
September 21, 2016
Farmers Edge, a global leader in precision agriculture and independent data management solutions, has announced that it will receive $6,107,563 Read More
BusinessGMO Aphids to Battle Weeds? It’s Not as Far Fetch…
September 21, 2016
No, I am not talking about optimizing aphids for a global agricultural armageddon. That would be silly. I’m talking about Read More
Young Corn Field
Best PracticesNitrogen: The Key to Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
September 20, 2016
Precision ag can play a key role in reducing agriculture’s impact on greenhouse gases by limiting the nitrogen rate. Read More
W. Wade Robey, Raven
Industry NewsRaven Adds New Director Of Engineering
September 19, 2016
W. Wade Robey, Ph.D., joined Raven Applied Technology in August 2016 as Director of Engineering. In this role, he leads Read More
Mitchell Technical Institute students with drone
IntegratorsMTI Precision Ag Students Use Drone Technology
September 19, 2016
After weeks of sitting in the classroom, several Mitchell Technical Institute students were able to spend a few hours outside Read More
BusinessOPINION: Climate Corp. is the Jewel in Bayer’s Monsanto…
September 15, 2016
PERSPECTIVE: Over the next few days and weeks in the ag media space the major players will examine this latest Read More
Sugarcane India
Market ImpactPlantations International Brings Precision Farming Tech…
September 14, 2016
Hong Kong-based plantation and farm management company Plantations International has announced it is moving its contact centre from the Indian Read More
Corn close up
Start-UpsLewis & Clark Ventures Raises $20 Million For Agric…
September 13, 2016
Lewis & Clark Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on Series A and B stage investments, has announced $20 million Read More
BusinessSentera Joins Forces With Another Drone Distributor
September 13, 2016
Sentera has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Dynamic UAV Solutions North America, LLC, a new distributor in the commercial Read More
New Zealand agriculture
Market ImpactPrecision Ag Technology Helping New Zealand Agriculture…
September 12, 2016
New Zealand has an enormous opportunity to use technology as a means to support the economic growth of its agri Read More