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Soybean field days aim to help growers increase financial gains

Producing a quality crop that will bring in the green, that’s the challenge many producers wrestle with daily as the Ag economy tries to rebound, and some commodity prices remain low. (MeAnder Photography)

“The past four or five years, it has been pretty easy to make a profit. Now it’s getting tougher,” said Tad Melia, a farmer in Valley County.

Producing a quality crop that will bring in the green - that’s the challenge many producers wrestle with daily as the ag economy tries to rebound, and some commodity prices remain low.

“It’s getting tough now because the margins are so close now with the costs and everything,” said Melia.

This week, the University of Nebraska and soybean groups aimed to help.

“The idea behind field days is to get out the research that’s been done on best management practices for producing soybeans in the state of Nebraska,” said Victor Bohuslavsky, the executive director of the Nebraska Soybean Board. He said information from this year’s Soybean Management Field Days will be turned into financial gain. “They have the opportunity to take the information that they’ve gotten today and implement it into their operation.”

The four-day tour makes stops across the state. Local experts will discuss irrigation management, weed protection, soil nutrients, and even the impacts marketing can have on a farm.

“It’s all about developing a marketing plan, taking that emotion out of the marketing,” said regional extension economist Jessica Groskopf, who reminded growers to have a solid strategy as they prepare for harvest. “Farmers love to do what they do best, and that’s growing beautiful crops in beautiful Nebraska. But, if we can’t get those crops sold, there really isn’t a business.”

Groskopf said writing a marketing plan is one of the greatest safety nets a producer can have.

“Sounds really basic, but it actually helps a lot of producers out. Writing down what is my cost of production. What’s my target price, and then when I see that target price, not getting greedy or fearful the prices are to go up the next day,” the economist added. She also reminded producers to keep an eye on Washington and policy changes, especially now as the Farm Bill makes its way through Congress.

“The question is what are they going to change. There’s several proposals that are floating around right now,” said Groskopf. “One of the more concerning parts of the farm bill they’re talking about changing, is the crop insurance policy.”

Crop insurance protects farmers against natural disasters, and the loss of revenue from declining commodity prices.

For information on the next Soybean Management Field Days, click here.

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