Together we farm around 7000 acres, corn, soybeans and some milo.
We have about 6 full timers and a 3-4 part time who are way more important than us because without them this would be well extremely difficult! Dad started farming in 1977, I started in 08’ with him, Ryan just got out of Purdue in 17’ and came back. After that we got my mother (Melissa) and Ryan’s wife (Morgan).
We pride ourselves on the small details…we live in a very tough spot to farm in SW MI, so we rely on tissue sampling, soil testing, reducing compaction…sometime the third one is tough to control when it rains non-stop.
We enjoy pushing the limits of corn yields to see how far we can push it on the farm. We enjoy the contest so that other farmers continuously push each other to greater heights, walking through it also gives us something to do in the evening when our work is complete throughout the summer.
About 50% of our acres are irrigated, we do no-till a few acres every year not much though, due to Lake Michigan.. it keeps us too saturated and we can hardly ever keep ruts out of the fields in the fall. We plant 100% pioneer corn and soybeans, we firmly believe their genetics are top notch, a few other details we have introduced in the past 10 years are more biologicals through our program, Humic/fulvic acids, sugars, etc. we need to be looking into the future on how we are going to produce more with less cash so we have to have our soil in check which can take years.
Father Jon started entering the contest back in 1992, won a handful of times and now we have taken a second place seat for many years and I am tired of it. We have hit some personal goals along the way and made money doing it so that will always be number 1 to me! Our personal best was in 2017 with 339 bu/a. In 2012 we became one of the first in the state of Michigan to achieve a verified third party check and recheck of 300 bu/a which was really cool. We have achieved 300+ checks on a few different farms of ours now which really brings our spirits up. Of course due to our sandy soil and outsides of the pivot, the whole fields will average in the 245-275 range.
A goal of ours besides have a profitable year, would be
1: personal best
2: 300 bu dryland corn
3: win the state of Michigan yield contest
4: keep learning from everyone around us!
5: one 5 year goal of ours is most def the late Francis child’s 442 dryland yield… he was very close to my dad so to get to his level would be really cool!
We are implementing Y drop for the first time on our farm, hope to add some bushels with those, adjusting our nutrient loads in sands with high K%. We are cutting our rates back and raising others, trying pivot bios ProveN which could be a game changer! Another thing we are doing is playing with populations. July and August get hot here so maybe not an entire season like down south but it can definitely ruin a crop like everywhere else. On some ground we have played with 28k to 40k populations, with contest acres going from 34k to 43k.
Really hope I get to meet some of you all and talk more about corn!