Raising nitrogen dependent crops takes time. Time might seem like the natural enemy of profits. But, Dakota Bio has a few helpers to boost that ROI. While Planting Season 2021 gets ready to start, let’s examine why you need profits to farm profitably.
How to Make A Profit from Your Land
Agriculture is one of the oldest professions on Earth. While many don’t make millions from it, the land has provided a way to make a tidy profit for centuries. The question remains…what do you need to do get a piece of that farming cash?
Forecasting what your farm needs is business planning at its most essential. Not all climates, soil and farmers are ready to grow whatever they want. After all, what good is it to try to grow oranges in North Dakota? You’ll go broke, while everyone else continues to buy from Florida and California.
Economic sustainability derives from having a plan to properly grow your farm. That means more than having equipment, the land and the people to work it. Sustainability means are you doing the right things to keep the land ready for season after season of farming? Also, are you growing something that somebody needs?
Want to learn how to find out if your crops are sustainable?
Market research works for all businesses from selling widgets to keeping Nebraska farmers from growing Parsnips in a non-parsnip market. Consumers make their voices known in a wide variety of ways, but each way requires that you listen and understand what they’re saying. If they say don’t want cabbage, but research data says cabbage is still being purchased…then find that market.
But, if you have a dream to grow Red Onions and no one has bought Red Onions at a profitable rate for a decade, it would make sense to move elsewhere. Crops move based on need and what the market can support.
Agribusiness is no different than any other form of business. While innovation is needed, it’s easier to innovate when you’re not trying to sell a perishable product.
So, what are the Most Profitable Ways to Farm?
The most profitable ways to farm aren’t always clear to define. While some farmers stick to one thing they do really well, others create U-Pick ‘Em style operations. Profits in regards to farming come when you know what it is you do well and you can replicate it at scale.
Some might say that no one ever got rich farming, but several people have made comfortable lives in the noble agricultural tradition. How were they able to grow comfortable with a profitable operation? They did it by understanding what it takes their farm to grow as a business.
What does the land require? Are there certain crops that we should be growing? The first step to profitable farming begins with knowledge.
Knowing What to Grow and When to Grow It
Cash crops are older than America. In fact, America owes its existence to thousands of interested farmers coming to this land to be on the cutting edge of crop greatness. Now, you’re not going to be able to grow everything you want in 2021.
While that might initially sound like a detriment, we want you to look beyond that. There are plenty of options of crops to grow. However, we’re going to highlight the four major plants that fare the best with inoculants. In each breakdown, we’ll examine the requirements to be successful with each offering.
So, let’s look at the cash crops that will help you to succeed.
Soybeans are the crops that normally thrive with inoculants. That’s because there has been research about how there isn’t a native population of rhizobium in most soils. What’s neat here is most inoculants don’t require giving soybean seeds a bath in the liquids.
The nitrates required get applied to the soil micro-organisms that need them. No middle man, no fuss.
Chickpeas are another crop that thrives with the help of inoculants. The levels of rhizobia needed in soil for Chickpeas is never quite right. So, inoculants help to mitigate the risk of poor nodulation. But, there is something special that Chickpeas can do with inoculants.
These chickpea crops have the ability to fix their nitrogen levels through nitrogen fixation. Recent studies have shown that chickpeas require Rhizobia cicero. It’s not the same kind of bacterium used for peas and lentils. So, make sure your inoculant choice contains that strain.
Pro tip: If the inoculant says garbanzo instead of chickpea, that’s perfectly fine. Older farmers will wonder why we even have to say it, but we want to cover all bases.
Peas thrive well with legume inoculants. When dealing with inoculants for a first time, it’s easy to get confused by what you’re doing. Think of inoculants as the probiotics for your soil’s gut health. They instill what your soil needs to properly nourish and help develop crops.
Your pea crops will grow without inoculation. But, the benefits of inoculants can be felt around the country. Especially if you’re planting peas in colder soil. Inoculants can coat soil and seeds with rhizobia to prep them for earlier planting.
Peanuts are another cornerstone crop that makes the best of inoculant usage. Given that peanut planting starts in mid Spring and requires warmer soil, inoculants can only be extra help. Peanuts also have a special relationship with the nitrogen bacteria Bradyrhizobium. The peanut can circulate that nitrate throughout its roots to make sure every part of the plant and soil gets fed.
Peanut inoculants aren’t the same as soybean inoculants. 99% of these inoculants are spread as a liquid below the seed during furrowing. You should see nodules on the plant in 5-6 weeks after successful inoculation.
Inoculants are Soil Probiotics
Inoculants work miracles for your soil’s health. While we discussed the probiotic comparison earlier, it’s such a wonderful thing that most don’t discuss with Inoculants. Crops are alive, as well as the soil. For your farm to function as a business, it’s wise to treat your crops as living performers that need all your help.
For every crop you grow, the soil loses the materials it need. Run-off rainwater helps speed it up as well. So, what are you going to do to make things right for the present and the ever-pressing future?
Document Everything. While that covers a lot, that’s because it’s meant to be that grand. Your average farmer doesn’t think of themselves as a scientist, but you might have a few that see themselves as a business person. That’s great and we ask that you keep your mind in both arenas.
When you document how your plants grow, what you spend to get that result and monitor the growth…you are giving yourself data. Data on inoculants goes beyond what you remember and local wisdom. It’s about knowing what inoculants do for your crops and how to create a return on investment.
After all, a hearty ROI is the most surefire way to create profits. If you can keep your investment costs below your returns, then it’s easy street to profits.
Learn Everything You Can About Your Crops
A farm is a business. You wouldn’t sell real estate unless you knew every secret and flaw in your housing market. This doesn’t mean you have to turn into Sheldon Cooper and recite every trivial detail of your crops. But, it means knowing in advance about what kind of inoculants are needed for which crops.
It means knowing soil temperature and how early you can start planting. Beyond that, it means knowing the nitrate and related nutrient needs for your plants. A peanut can do amazing things that a chickpea might need extra help achieving. It’s not the fault of the plant or the planter, but these are problems that can be lessened by the introduction of proper inoculant usage.
Permaculture Farming is the way of 2021 and beyond!
Permaculture Farming is a method of using farmland in a way that future generations can keep using it. The practice draws from organic farming, sustainability growth and focused ecological moves. In a way, it sums up everything we talked about so far as it relates to finding the most profitable ways to farm.
Permaculture is the thoughtful maintenance and design work of creating an Ag system that provides stable and resilient planting. It sounds very close to what we’ve been talking about with our knowledgeable inoculant usage. Honestly, it’s not that far off.
Everyone that has a stake in agriculture should be looking at what we can do to help sustain crops. That doesn’t mean everyone needs to become a die-hard environmentalist overnight. What it means is that looking at what is required to be a profitable farmer means acknowledging the debt we have to take care of our land.
At this point, you might be wondering if we’re pitching holistic farming. The answer is of course! If you can treat your body well, give your kids and pets better nutrition…why not farm in the same manner?
Profitable Inoculation exists when you put the customers first
Profitable inoculation isn’t a dream. With the aid of inoculants and other soil stimulators, you can protect your crops and help them flourish. Take the steps we mentioned above and start laying out a plan to better your farm.
When you start thinking of your business needs in advance, you can lay out your future with clarity. Plus, it gives you clear-cut parameters about what constitutes an attainable goal. If you still need help past this point, Dakota Bio has a suggestion.