Balancing Input Costs

Fertilizer is a big investment that’s too important to risk. Soil tests help to determine what nutrients you need. Having a good balance between agronomics and the rising cost of fertilizer is key moving into 2023.

Galynn Beer is the national strategy and product management lead for AgroLiquid. He works with farmers to attain good agronomy skills in order to handle high-priced inputs and ensure a return on investment. 

“I feel like farmers are a little bit tired of this conversation because we’re in about year three of this,” Beer says. “It’s easy when commodity prices are high to think you’re making good gross revenue. But as those costs rise, some of the nutrients are in short supply, you get too intensive, and all of a sudden it starts consuming your entire fertilizer budget.”

Beer encourages farmers to not overcommit to one nutrient and think more about the balance that your crop needs. He suggests that farmers look at their fields as a factory and to take an inventory of what you have out there.

“The first thing you’re going to want to do is complete a soil test,” says Beer. “Then use that test to split up your micronutrients and rank where you need to spend money on.”

Making a hierarchy of how money is going to be spent whether that is on nitrogen, phosphorus, or potassium, can help farmers have a better understanding of their gross revenue. Knowing what percent of your revenue is going to which nutrient when input costs are high, helps to remain in control during challenging times.

Beer adds, “One thing I would advise farmers to do is think about what time the crop needs each nutrient. “This prevents you from being backed into a corner having to make a split decision.”