Paths to Profitability

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Getting on a path to profitability often starts with one question. Watch a recent webinar to hear from other growers and find your own path to profitability. Access Now

Hear growers share their paths to profitability

Growers from across the country share about the questions they asked and paths they took that led their farms to greater profitability. Some have saved costs on inputs or optimized their working capital, while others have added new revenue streams, such as grazing or carbon credits, or used digital platforms to get a better price for their grain.

Productivity

Meet Indiana Grower Ken Rulon

Indiana farmer Ken Rulon has been using no-till and cover crops for decades—and has the data to shows benefits. Some of those benefits include increasing his profitability by reducing costs on pesticides and insecticides and focusing on having something in the ground all year. “We know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the more carbon you have in the soil, the more it yields. So, we're trying to capture as much carbon as possible while operating a commercial corn and soybean farm.”

Ultimately, our goal is to try to make the soil better and the yields better while reducing the cost and the input structure.

Ken Rulon

Input Optimization

Meet Arkansas Grower Adam Chappell

In 2009, fourth-generation farmer Adam Chappell was in a battle to save his farm. Pigweed was taking over. “I was scouring YouTube one sleepless night, trying to figure out how to fight pigweeds, and survive another year,” he recalls. Regenerative farming, specifically cover crops, was the answer to his weed problem. A decade after taking his first steps toward practices that benefit the soil, Adam continues to maximize his profitability and reduce his expenses by introducing new practices.

The practices that I've been implementing for the last 10 years provide me a lot of peace of mind. I know if I have a good cover crop, then pigweed's not going to be an issue.

Adam Chappell, Chappell Brothers Farms

Water Infiltration

Meet Iowa Grower Mike Bretz

After a long career in food supply sustainability, Mike Bretz came back to the family farm after his parents died. He and his brother discovered Gabe Brown’s book Dirt to Soil, and Mike listened to it about 15 times as he was driving around in his tractor. His point of view was: “If we can actually make agriculture more profitable and improve soil health, why not go do it?” Mike jumped in headfirst with all 450 acres into regenerative practices, planting cover crops last fall and going for another round this spring.

Even if it didn’t put carbon back in the ground, we’d still do these farming practices for the soil.

Mike Bretz, Bretz Farms LLC

FARM RESILIENCE

Meet Iowa Grower Steve Anderson

For fifth generation Iowa grower Steve Anderson, 2013 marked the beginning of a challenge. “The ag economy really started going south,” Steve notes. Crop prices were falling faster than the input prices, making turning a profit hard to impossible. The changes he made helped him make a profit and have more time with his family.

A little here and a little there adds up to profitability. Now that the marketing is closing out from last year, I’m suddenly seeing, I’ll be darned, I made money.

Steve Anderson, Co-owner SR Anderson Farm

INPUT OPTIMIZATION

Meet Iowa Grower Kyle Schnell

Iowa grower Kyle Schnell is transitioning 700 acres to regenerative organic, with 300 acres that are just regenerative. He's found the more he applies beneficial practices such as cover crops, grazing, reduced inputs, no no-till, the more his profits increase. He spends less and earns more.

Just the savings themselves have increased my income a lot.

Kyle Schnell, Owner Iowa Organics

INPUT OPTIMIZATION

Meet Kansas Grower Tony Hein

With mounting chemical prices, Tony Hein thought to himself, “I’ve got to do something different.” Reducing inputs and enrolling in Indigo Carbon have helped Tony save costs while improving their soil health.

When it makes money and helps the cause of the family moving forward, it just makes sense.

Tony Hein, Co-owner Tony Hein Farm

The benefits

Be resilient to economic and environmental changes

From saving costs to earning additional revenue streams, adopting beneficial practices and optimizing your grain marketing strategy over time can help you to create a more resilient, profitable operation.

The proof is in the numbers

See results from real growers who have made changes to their approach from soil to sale.

These case studies are provided for general informational purposes only. A number of variables can affect profitability. Individual results will vary. Indigo does not guarantee any results with respect to profitability of regenerative practices with respect to any individual grower.

*Source:  Progress Report July 2020