Sep 29, 2021
We are so excited to share with you today another bonus episode of farm and life hacks for all our dedicated listeners over time. The A Better Way to Farm family has always aimed to find better ways to support our co-farmers and owners even through good and bad times, not only in farm productions but also in concrete and viable life tips and some insights.
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Now, have you heard or watched the movie, “Groundhog Day”? If yes, let us exchange a few ideas after and if not, be ready to listen and learn a thing or two from the movie that we can all apply in life and in our farms. Let’s go right in and gain better ways to make our farm management skills better each season… 😉 😉 😉
Episode 68 Transcripts
[00:00:16] Rod: Hey guys, Rod here at A Better Way to Farm. Happy Monday afternoon, what a beautiful day! Blue skies above, a bean field. Thinking about starting to turn across the road. About 78 degrees with a beautiful seven or eight mile an hour breeze. I hope your day is going well. I hope this day finds you doing great. Wanted to talk to you today. This is a concept that Karen came up with. I think it was, stole the title from a movie.
[00:00:42] How many of you out there seeing the movie Groundhog's day? For those of you that haven't, just the short synopsis is that this news reporter from the city goes to Punxsutawney to be there for the event of Groundhog's day. When they see if they're going to have six more weeks of winter or not, whether or not based on whether or not he sees his shadow. While he's there, this person who's very much self-centred and self-absorbed kind of lives in his own little world gets trapped and he just wakes up every morning and the exact same thing happens. Every morning, the alarm clock goes off. Every morning, the alarm is, the radio is playing "I got you, babe", by Sonny and Cher. It's the same thing over and over and over. And so that got Karen thinking and got me thinking about how many of us are living groundhogs a year instead of Groundhog's day? How many of us are going out here year after year, and we're doing exactly the same thing? Or we may try one thing because somebody is running some really good ads on it. There's some products right now being advertised very heavily. And guys, I want to encourage you before you take a look at our stuff. Before you take a look at anybody's stuff, I will strongly encourage you. Talk to people who have used it. Not people who are selling them, but people who have used it. I'd also invite you to get into the Bex PFR book and say, all right, I'm thinking about using this product. Whatever it is, super-duper juice product. And I see the company literature looks good, but the Beck's, on the Beck's data, it doesn't even pay for itself. That's some of the typically the only changes we make, is whatever, whoever bought the most advertising. But guys, what I want to encourage you to do is not live in Groundhog's year. I would encourage you that if we do the same thing again and again, and again, to a very large degree, we're going to get the exact same results. And maybe the worst part is if we do the exact same thing again and again, and again, we're actually going backwards because we might be doing something that doesn't build soil health, and we've got to talk about going to rehab, taking our soil to rehab.
[00:02:52] Sometimes, we're doing the wrong thing. We do it again and again, and again. And all of a sudden, we have less drought tolerance and we can't even take as much heat at as much dry weather as we could five years ago. So maybe worse than the exact same thing is it's going backwards on us. What I want to talk about is every year trying something different. Now in the movie, even though it's very funny and the premises that he stuck every day, he does something different every day. He does something different just to see how it's going to turn out. One day he drove a car off of a cliff, but of course, because it was Groundhog's day, he didn't die. He wakes up the next morning, Sonny and Cher singing, "I got you, babe". You know, one day he sticks a fork, I don't know if it's the toaster into the bathtub with him, but he wakes up the next day and they're singing, "I got you, babe".
[00:03:37] How many of us are trying something different? And sometimes we need to put a fork in the toaster. Sometimes we need to drive the car off the cliff. Sometimes we need to test something. For instance, one of the easiest things to test is mess with your population on soybeans. Guys, I have a ton of people who are getting back to me and they, they've went from 185. I've got several guys that have went down to 140. I've had several people say, hey man, we're going to 125 next year because we can already tell where we did the 125 strips, we're getting the best yield. Guys, I don't know what it's going to be. Don't take my word for it. And I got no dog in the fight. I don't sell seed and I don't sell against the seed. What I fought him for, I'm for you making the most money. And I know that historically, the number one winner in 30 inch rows on soybean yield is 125,000.
[00:04:24] That's not my data. That's what guys tell me from all over the United States. Just try it. That's one thing you can do different. Now, the movie Groundhog Day, he just kept working at it. Sometimes he did something, it was kind of stupid. Cause sometimes we got to do that. Maybe we ought to try some means one pass, let's try one pass of beans at 80,000. Let's try some stuff on our corn. And if we're using in-furrow starter, let's try to figure out what the limiting factor is and put on some micronutrients. Maybe something we need to do different is we don't have in-furrow starter, but we need to. I just had a great conversation with Jeremy here. Good friend of ours. And we were talking to, to Jeremy, was talking about the fact that they have a lot of manure. The corn comes out of the ground. It takes it about four to six weeks before it really takes off. And we talked about how starter is going to play into meeting that phosphorous need before it gets warm. And so maybe the crazy thing you need to do is check out putting starter on your plant.
[00:05:16] Guys our starters' non-corrosive. It has a neutral pH, it's safe for the seed. If you spill it, it doesn't hurt anything. And you guys, you can count on this, but we're going to do a series of podcasts here from about three or four different people talking about how to set up your planner. Oftentimes, guys say, well, that's a stumbling block because it's so expensive and it can be. You can easily spend 35 to $50,000 setting up your planner.
[00:05:44] But what if I told you, you could set up a 12 row for less than four grand? Maybe even significantly less than that? So, we're going to do a series of podcasts, bring some information to you where you can figure out listing to the people who sell it, tell you how their system would work and about what it would cost. So that's going to be something else for you to do but on the Groundhog Day concept or the Groundhog year concept, the question is, what are we going to do different? How are we not going to try and do exactly the same thing and somehow hope we get a different result? So what are we going to do? We're going to look for something different to do. Now in the movie Groundhog day, Bill Murray actually works and works and works and it was funny because towards the end of it, he got almost everything right. I'm not going to tell you what the punch line or the, what he was after, what he was trying to accomplish. I'm not going to tell you what that is, but he, he would get almost right and in the last minute, there'll still be something wrong.
[00:06:39] Guys, that's kind of like farming. We can do a lot of things right and then we take a shortcut right at the last minute and we cheat ourselves out of something really great. You know, we run the soil test, we put on the in-furrow starter, and then we decide we're going to cut back and save some money and we don't use micronutrients. And those were what were really were our limiting factor. So there's, there's things there that we can do. We can take a shortcut, but we never get there. In the movie, when Bill Murray finally works at it, he becomes committed to becoming a better person, just like we become committed to becoming better farmers.
[00:07:13] Then he finally gets it. Because he does it really well, he makes a mistake. He does it really well, it makes one more mistake. He fixes those two, he makes one more. And finally he gets it all right. Guys, that's a good feeling. Now with farming, we're probably never going to completely get there. Whatever there is, because there's the cool part about what we do is there's always more to accomplish. There's always the opportunity to push and set a new personal record in for average. So we average 232 bushels acre last year. Next year, we can shoot for 245. And when we make that, we'll shoot for 270, there's always somewhere else to push. There's always something else to do. And while we're doing that, we better be setting record for the lowest cost of production. The most important number in the world to me is the cost per bushel. I don't care if you're growing 170 or a 370. The fact of the matter is we got to be doing it for less than $3 a bushel. We've got to figure out how to do that. And I know with inputs this year, we're going to have to really rethink what we're doing.
[00:08:17] This is a good year to not do Groundhog's year. This is a good year to say, what can I do different? What change can I make so that I can finally get it right? Guys, if you're interested in some information on what some things we might be able to help you get right. Please give us a call at 6 4 1 9 1 9 1 2 0 6 or send us a text at that same number 6 4 1 9 1 9 1 2 0 6. And when you send us a message, I promise you, someone will call. Guys, I hope your day is gorgeous. I hope you're working hard. I hope harvest is getting ready to start, and I hope you really are having a better day.
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