Jared Miller is a master agronomy advisor for MKC and for the past 10 years, he’s worked with growers in Kansas – answering questions about nitrogen inputs and the value of stabilizers.
According to Miller, when growers are looking at their budgets – many get stuck on the cost of the product when they should be focused on its performance. Growers have suggested that they’d rather just put down more pounds of nitrogen on the field instead of investing to protect it.
“I’ve tried to have simple analogies,” says Miller. “One I can always talk about is a fence.”
He illustrates the need for stabilizers this way: if you’ve got a barbed wire fence with cattle on side and a hole in the fence, cattle are going to escape. Then he asks them if they’re going to use their investment to close the gap in the fence or just keep spending money on more cattle and letting them continue to go out.
“It’s the same as having a water bucket with a hole in the bottom,” says Miller. “Am I going to keep adding water or plug it and fix the problem?”
Understanding True Costs and Value
Remembering that the true cost of applying nitrogen increases with each pass over your fields, the price of fewer passes when using a stabilizer can be of value – potentially saving you time, money and resources.
“Another challenge right now is farmers understanding what their true cost is per acre,” says Miller. “We need to make sure that we’re looking at exactly what the whole price will be or the whole cost per acre for each individual pass.”
Getting the most out of everything you put down is just good business. Whatever you budget to grow your crop, you want to maximize every dollar that’s spent in order to achieve the best outcome possible. Applying nitrogen without a stabilizer or an enhanced efficiency fertilizer is risky at best. If weather is bad or temperatures get too warm, too early – your nitrogen investment will diminish as your nitrogen is lost.
“If I can protect that investment and truly make that more profitable, that is what I’m here for,” says Miller. “There’s too many people out running around with a price card and a generic form of multiple products, not just stabilizers.”
“Our whole goal, especially in retail ag, is to try to make our growers as profitable as possible,” says Miller.
To learn more about increasing the profitability of your operation, contact your local Koch representative today.