By Brian Hefty

How can I cut expenses? That’s what most farmers ask me. In fact, it’s the number one question I’ve received over the years as an agronomist.

Here’s a better question I would encourage you to ask your agronomist: How can I better invest my money?

Your biggest input expense is likely fertilizer. Yes, fertility response isn’t always 100% predictable, but fertility is an enormous component of yield, not to mention soil health. The great thing with fertility is you have the ability to measure what’s in your soil and what’s in your plants. It starts with a good soil test.

Here are my two questions for you today. Do you know how to read a soil test? Do you think the ability to read a soil test and make recommendations based on the soil test should improve your bottom line and/or your yields?

Almost every farmer I talk to answers those questions no and yes. Look, you can sit around all day complaining about commodity prices and how farming isn’t as profitable as it used to be, but let’s face it, complaining does no good. Your job is to figure out how to fix the problem, and I can promise you, if you know how to read your own soil tests and make recommendations off those tests, that’s a big part of the solution.

Also, I already know the excuses. “I have a guy who pulls my soil tests and makes my recommendations for me.” “I don’t have time to do this.” “I don’t have time to come to a Soils Clinic.”

KNOWING HOW TO READ A SOIL TEST, IN MY OPINION, IS THE MOST IMPORTANT JOB ON THE FARM!!

I’m dead serious about that. If you don’t know how to read a soil test, please come to an Ag PhD Soils Clinic. No one else does this for free, like we do, and no one else will cut through all the nonsense and tell it to you like it is. We’re not trying to sell you anything. We’re just trying to help you learn more about fertilizer. Even if you’ve attended a Soils Clinic before, you may know how to read the soil test, but I encourage you to get more proficient at it by attending a Soils Clinic again, and then joining us at an Advanced Soils Clinic later this winter.

Ag PhD Soils Clinic Schedule

Click each location below for more information and directions.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018 – Garden City, KS – Clarion Inn (9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.)
Friday, January 19, 2018 – Baltic, SD – Morton Center (9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.)
Tuesday, January 30, 2018 – Morris, MN – Hotel 200 (9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.)
Wednesday, January 31, 2018 – Aberdeen, SD – Dakota Event Center (9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.)
Wednesday, January 31, 2018 – Bismarck, ND – Radisson (9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.)
Tuesday, February 6, 2018 – Granite Falls, MN – Prairie’s Edge Casino (9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.)
Wednesday, February 7, 2018 – Osage, IA – Cedar River Complex (9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.)
Wednesday, February 7, 2018 – Bettendorf, IA – Waterfront Convention Center (9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.)
Friday, February 9, 2018 – Spencer, IA – Clay County Convention Center (9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.)
Monday, February 12, 2018 – Grand Forks, ND – Alerus Center (9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.)
Thursday, February 15, 2018 – Gilbert, AZ – DoubleTree (9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.) – SPECIAL AGRONOMY & SOILS CLINIC