Are You a 2018 Yield Hero?

Bauman Agency is pleased to introduce our Hybrid Yield Hero contest for 2018! The yield contest is for each individual Pioneer corn and soybean product from the 2018 growing season. Each hybrid winner will be displayed on a banner that will remain on the Bauman Agency “Wall of Fame” for the year. They will also win a personalized Bauman Agency jacket and an invitation for 2 to our annual Yield Hero Dinner.

Rules and Regulations

  1. All entries must be harvested from Pioneer brand seed purchased from Bauman Agency.
  2. Each entry must consist of no less than 10 contiguous acres.
  3. Only one entry per person per hybrid. Producers may enter as many hybrids as they purchased.
  4. Each entry must be submitted on a separate entry form.
  5. All yields will be adjusted to dry bushels per acre (13% moisture for soybeans, 14% moisture for corn.)
  6. Yield evidence must be presented as scale tickets or a contiguous yield map from a calibrated yield monitor.
  7. Irrigated and dry-land acres will be in separate hybrid divisions.
  8. Winners must agree to have their picture taken. Bauman Agency will use these photographs in print and social media advertising.
  9. Deadline for entries is December 1st, 2018.
  10. If a tie should occur, the winner will be decided by whomever submitted the most Yield Hero entries

Complete ALL of the information and submit the entry form along with all production evidence to:

Bauman Agency
19897 SD Hwy 37
Huron, SD 57350

Remember: All entries are due at the Bauman Agency office by December 1st, 2018.

Yield Hero Rules and Entry Form

Featured Image Credit: JD Hancock

Harvest Update from Curt Bauman (Audio)

Our own Curt Bauman had the pleasure of talking to KWAT and KDLO radio’s Ag director, Chuck Langner, on 28 September 2017 to give him the Beadle County harvest update…from your side of the fence. Take a listen below!

One week later (5 October), rain continued to challenge us…but Beadle county ag growers kept plugging along!

A week later (12 October), Curt provided an update on the soybean harvest, with a look ahead to the corn harvest beginning for most growers. Listen in here!

Featured Image Credit: United Soybean Board

If That Don’t Beat All

I used to think that the more years I farmed, the more experienced I became. With that experience, the less shocked I would be at certain scenarios as I should have “seen them all.” Then reality happens and I am reminded that I still have a great deal to learn when trying to discern our volatile markets. Let me shed a little light on how today’s market fiasco affects crop insurance coverage for 2016.

First of all, I have seen more variation in corn crop conditions this season, within just a few miles – sometimes in the same section, than I can remember in any previous year.  I have walked fields that could easily yield over 150 bpa (bushels per acre), while a field across the road will have a hard time achieving 75 bpa. It seems that in one field it paid to till, and a mile down the road it had a negative impact. Typically, our corn yields are significantly higher than soybeans compared to national averages, but this year, with some timely August rains, soybean yields could be well above the historical corn/soybean yield ratio.

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This Spring, both corn and soybeans were under price pressure as we set our crop insurance base prices with both crops well below the 2015 price guarantees. Corn experienced a short lived summer rally in late June that left prices well above our spring price, then rapidly retreated to levels that make producers cringe and buyers smile. Soybeans, on the other hand, initiated a rally that, even after softening, is still well above 2015’s levels.

Most market forecasts told producers that it would essentially be impossible to make money raising soybeans this season and for farmers to be sure to use any tools available to minimize their losses. Soybeans could well turn out to be the one crop that turns a profit in 2016 – if we accomplish the current yield estimation and still have our current prices.

Corn producers who had a 120 bu APH (actual production history) and selected a 75% Revenue Protection coverage level for crop insurance coverage were guaranteed 90 bpa or roughly $347 per acre of revenue coverage on their farm. If the current trend in corn prices holds through harvest (about 15% lower than the crop insurance spring projected price), that dollar coverage divided by a lower harvest price makes his new yield coverage 104bpa (about 15% higher than the projected price).

Soybeans on the other hand have experienced a price rally and so revenue coverage will go up to reflect the higher value of harvested soybeans. A producer who has a 36 bu APH with 75% coverage had about $240 /acre coverage. If the current price holds through harvest, his coverage will go up to $273 per acre. Given the outlook for soybean harvest in Beadle County we should be marketing up to our guaranteed bushels at the higher current levels. If market history rings true and my predictions follow the past years’ outcomes, every producer should do the opposite of what I say as the price may skyrocket to $12/bu!

One last thought, if ever we need to have a yield monitor, it is a season like this when we can discover the true winning hybrids and best management practices to use on our farms. Contact us about YIELDSENSE, a yield monitoring system that is available for your combine that will help make the best possible decisions for 2017. Let us help you use the tools you already have to identify what things worked and what didn’t. It is one of the few factors that is truly in our control.

Image Credit: United Soybean Board

Meet our New Employees

IMG_2163Wade Sabers joined our office in late February as a Precision Planting Tech and Inventory Assistant Manager. Wade will be a face you see this spring during seed delivery. He is a lifelong resident of Huron and has many years of experience in mechanics and technology. Hunting, camping, family, and snowmobiling fill his spare time. Be sure to stop in, say hi, and help us welcome him to Bauman Agency!

 

 

 

IMG_2205Matt Bischoff is our most recent addition to the staff at Bauman Agency. He will be working part-time in Pioneer Seed Sales and Agronomy Support. Matt will be a familiar face to many as he lives just a couple miles from the warehouse where he also farms and ranches with his family on Ravine Creek Ranch. His wife, Heather, is a Crop Insurance Specialist at the office, and they have 3 children—Parker, Reagan, and Easton. We are glad to have you here, Matt!

Coming Soon: Acreage Reporting

Maize and wheatThough it may seem like you just selected your crop insurance levels and options for the year, acreage reporting will be here before we know it. Remember to keep note of your planting dates, crops, and acres to help ensure policy accuracy. Call Heather or Amanda at the office  at (605) 353-1112 once you complete planting or if you have any replant or prevented plant claims.

Image Credit: Uwe Pothoff 

 

Precision Planting: Try Before You Buy

You still have the ability to get the best out of your planter for the 2016 planting season. To help your planter perform its best we have implemented a “Try It Buy It” Program for this season.

Bauman Agency will outfit your planter with a Precision Planting 20/20 SeedSense for only a $500 installation and setup fee. You run it for the season and then decide if you would like to keep it on your farm. Please call Callee Bauman at (605) 354-6733 to learn more!

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Image Credit: USDA NRCS

Time to Consider Crop Hail Coverage

8808241108_6f16c17630_oIt is never too early to consider Crop Hail insurance on your crops. Rates don’t change throughout the growing season, so don’t gamble on Mother Nature. Policies can be put in place today that will cover your crops as soon as they are planted. Full coverage, deductible, and production based policies are available. Call Amanda, Heather, Curt, or Louise at (605) 353-1112 for a quote today. Our agents will work with you to find a policy that fits your farm’s needs and budget!

Image Credit: SF

 

There’s Always Room for Innovation

A couple of weeks ago, I was able to attend the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, KY. This particular expo is DakotaFest – indoors and on steroids. It covers 27 acres under roof and hosts everything from livestock equipment to the latest innovations in farm equipment. A common theme throughout the booths this year was precision application equipment. As we farmers try to cut costs without adversely affecting our bottom line, I am encouraged that there are so many innovative ways to improve our nutrient efficiencies. More effective use of our fixed inputs allows us to lower the overall cost of production per unit vs. 9385458134_9bdf17cbb1_ojust cutting costs in general.

Many exhibitors showcased tillage tools that increase residue breakdown while simultaneously reducing erosion. A huge concern of farmers across the United States is how to better hold the soil where we need it – in our fields. As we flew over the central Corn Belt, it was evident that wind erosion is occurring across a wide span of the country. I do understand that if no fall tillage was done in many areas of the Corn Belt, there would be no crop planted the next spring. It is painful to see soil erosion still occurring even though the dirty 30’s are long behind us and conservation tillage practices are commonplace. I have used “no-till” as a conservation practice for many years, but, in recent years, have adopted strip-tilling as a nutrient placement practice, therefore I do more ground work than a true no-till operation would.

Countless exhibits focused on precision application of seeds, chemicals, and fertilizer. Innovative products were displayed throughout the show. Case IH’s new high speed planter, which is a whole new planter built around Precision Planting parts, beefed up all of the components that might see added stress if there were to be a high speed interaction with a rock. John Deere added an upgrade to their older style planters to allow them to use Deere’s Exact-Emerge technology. Precision Planting has always been about upgrading your current planter, which is typically more economical than trading for new. If farmers aren’t buying new planters, they can still upgrade to the latest technology available through various attachments and products. In short, there are cost effective solutions out there for all planting issues.

Continuing to invest in technology and adopt new practices will enhance your bottom line.   At the same time crop insurance can provide a measure of protection. While we are in the Multi-Peril Crop Insurance sign-up period with a March 15th deadline, cover as many costs as you can. We are in agriculture for the long haul, so be sure to make your crop insurance decisions based on your long term goals – even when the short term outlook seems to be a little scary. My experience tells me that when we least expect it, an opportunity can come along that will change the dynamics of the entire year, so have faith and stick to your plan.

Image Credit: Daniel X. O’Neil

Precision Training Days: March 4th and 16th

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You’ve upgraded your planter – now upgrade your skills! We’ve planned two separate days of training for your convenience. Check the schedule below to see which day fits your needs! Please, remember to bring your 20/20, its power cord, and your charged iPad with you!

Friday, March 4th, 2016 – Huron Event Center

10:00 – 11:30 20/20 and Field View

11:30 – 12:00 Climate Field View

12:00 – 12:45 Lunch (provided)

12:45 – 1:45 Air Force

1:45 – 2:00 Break

2:00 – 3:00 Row Flow (bring your prescriptions to load)

Wednesday, March 16th, 2016 – Huron Event Center

10:00 – 11:30 20/20 and Field View

11:30 – 12:00 Climate Field View

12:00 – 12:45 Lunch (provided)

12:45 – 1:45 Delta Force

1:45 – 2:00 Break

2:00 – 3:00 vDrive/Speed Tube/vSelect (bring your prescriptions to load)

For questions or to RSVP, please contact Callee, Bauman Agency’s Premier Precision Planting and Climate Field View Dealer, at 605-353-1112.

Click here for more information!

Farming with the Odds

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As I sit down to write this month’s article, my TV is tuned to the local news station while I await the winning Powerball Lottery numbers for the historic $1.5 billion jackpot. Like most people who purchased a ticket, I spent a few minutes (ok, maybe more than a few…) daydreaming about how I would spend the winnings if my numbers were chosen. Thankfully the subzero temperatures outside the store snapped me out of my fantasy of being on a yacht in the Caribbean. I eventually decided that I would keep farming until it was gone! While farming can sometimes feel like we are just playing the lottery and gambling on making a profit, there are a few main principles of risk management we can all follow to up our odds.

First, we need to know our costs. As this point in the 2016 crop year, we should already know what our seed, fertilizer, equipment payments, rent, and chemical prices are. There will still be some unknown variables, but we can come up with a close estimate of what each acre will cost to get the crop in the ground and off to a good start. This number may seem uncomfortably high, and we might look for shortcuts, but we need to be mindful of where the costs are cut. It is important not to cut costs in a way that negatively affects our profit potential. Decision management is 2016’s key element to controlling costs.

That being said, we also need to have a profit goal in mind. Are you shooting for just breaking even, or is it your goal to raise the largest crop ever on your farm? Knowing where we want the bottom line at the end of the year will help decide what risks to take, costs to cut, or where to splurge. It is also important to lock in profits whenever possible. While farmers realistically won’t expect to see $8 corn like a few years ago, always pay attention to the markets and try to contract a profit when an opportunity presents itself – even if it is not extraordinary.

One of the most lucrative decision management tools a farmer can use to aid in risk management is his Multi-Peril Crop Insurance policy. Crop insurance is used as a means of helping farmers cover costs of production. There are several different coverage types and options to choose from to customize your own policy to fit your farm’s needs. Revenue Protection and Yield Protection will give guaranteed revenue or bushel amounts. These policies help protect against uncontrollable variables such as adverse weather, dramatic swings in the markets, and other naturally occurring losses. Policy options are available as add-ons to increase coverage in the event of prevented planting, widespread loss years, or outdated yield information. Farmers are encouraged to work with their crop insurance agents to build a policy that suits their risk management needs without being too costly.

Well, the winning numbers were just announced and I didn’t have a single digit that matched. I guess it is back to the grindstone tomorrow. It is nice to know that even though I am not a billionaire, I still have the risk management plan and decision management tools to keep farming for years to come – without having to make a dicey wager. I’m not sure if I would know how to sail that yacht on Lake Byron anyway.

Image Credit:Amespiphoto