With today’s fertilizer prices exceeding over $500/ton, it’s common for an average grower to spend upwards of $200,000/year on fertilizer — sometimes 2x that, depending on crop variety and other conditions. If you want to see savings, then it’s important to invest in quality commercial agricultural equipment.
Costs: Not Much You Can Do
With variable costs such as land rent, labor, fuel, and equipment, seed and chemicals feel more like fixed costs. At least, that’s how we feel about it most of the time.
The only way you can save on fuel expenses is to make less rounds and do more with one pass. Land rent is like your mother-in-law — everything looks good until you add that into the equation. Equipment payments are unbelievable, and that doesn’t even include what it costs to keep up with the maintenance. The price of seed and chemicals are beyond your control, too.
The point is, you can’t buy less of these to achieve better yields. It’s just the opposite.
Equipment: Something You Can Do
For decades, fertilizer has been one of those costs that feels like it’s beyond your control. You just gotta do it and pay it and go on your way. You pull a sample, call the fertilizer company, and wait for the bill.
What did they spread?
How much did they spread?
I once talked to a farmer about broadcasting fertilizer and he told me that he called the fertilizer company to come apply 500lbs/ac to one of his fields before he bedded for corn.
He received a call from the spreader truck as he was making his last round and the spreader operator asked him, “What do you want me to do with the rest of this fertilizer?”
That’s when he realized he needed to look into better techniques for applying his material
He said, “I could see the variation in all my fields behind a spreader truck. Tall cotton, then short cotton. You can see exactly where the truck ran without even knowing.”
He purchased 1st Products fertilizer hoppers and from that day forward started seeing the savings. He mounted three hoppers on his six row-strip till and three hoppers on a toolbar for side dressing. He applied his P&K at 150lbs/ac while laying off the rows behind the subsoil shank of the strip till and broadcasted 200lb/ac.
The 150lb/ac produced 200 lbs/ac more cotton, and this was just one trial. Now he applies fertilizer on all 1,000 acres with 1st Products hoppers. He shared, “After I adapted this method across the entire farm, I saved $70,000 in one year and had better yields.”
You Can Save More Money, Too
You gotta do what you gotta do. And while there’s not much you can do about most costs, there is one cost that you can do something about, and it all comes down to your equipment. When you have quality commercial agricultural equipment, it’s going to save you a whole lot of money in the long-run. The above story is just one example of how a farmer was able to cut costs when it came to fertilizer. You can do the same. Want to learn more? Check out our equipment.