Hindsight is 20/20. That’s a given. But what would farmers have done differently knowing what they know now?
Farm Journal Media posed this question to 785 farmers as part of a 2015 harvest study. Here’s what farmers say they most wish they would have done in 2015.
- Added grain or other on-farm storage (27.2%)
- Planted earlier (23.3%)
- Installed field tile (22.2%)
- Made a fungicide application (18.3%)
- Harvested earlier (8.7%)
- Made a nitrogen stabilizer application (7.9%)
- Planted a cover crop (6.5%)
The survey also asked farmers about their grain storage intentions, and the response supports their desire to store increased amounts of grain on-farm. More than half of respondents say they will store more than 50% of the 2015 crop.
Other insights from the survey include:
- Corn yields in 2015 have been a mixed bag, with 40% of respondents seeing higher yields than last year, 36% with lower yields and 24% “about the same.”
- Soybean yields fared a bit better, with 48% of respondents seeing higher yields than last year, 29% lower and 23% “about the same.”
- In 2016, 61% of farmers plan to make no seed brand switches, and only 24% plan to purchase multiple seed brands next year.
- Only 17% of respondents felt optimistic about the overall farm economy, but 44% said they were positive about their own farm’s financial health.
- The most common “harvest bottlenecks” in 2015 were labor (28.8%), transportation capacity (23.7%) and lack of on-farm storage (17.9%).
- 14% of respondents say they will retire in the next five years.
How did your harvest go this year? Continue the conversation by adding your thoughts to the comments below.