The grain enterprise totals several thousand acres of corn, soybeans, and wheat. The majority of the land we farm is entrusted to us by non-farming landowners – retired farmers, heirs, investors, and even a local forest preserve district. The success of our operation stands upon a three-legged stool representing the landowner’s needs.
The first is sustainable production methods. Our collective future, as well as that of our children, relies on us being responsible stewards of our natural resources. We take great care in protecting your farmland through responsible use of necessary chemicals and soil amendments.
We also take pride in thorough maintenance of your drainage systems as well as reduced tillage techniques to minimize soil erosion.
The second leg of the stool is competitive returns on investment. We understand the landowner is entitled to a fair return. We will offer rent that allows both the landowner and the tenant to receive a fair profit.
Finally, we will care for the land to improve its value and achieve long-term appreciation. This is derived mainly from conservation of the soil and maintenance of fertility.
We are able to achieve the three goals above by using a variety of modern techniques. For example:
- A modern line of well-maintained equipment allows for timely field operations such as planting, spraying, and harvesting. This ultimately improves yields and increases our profitability.
- The soil fertility and acidity information is gained from routine soil testing. Using this information, we can apply lime and fertilizer using global positioning system (GPS) -guided variable rate application (VRA) technology to apply inputs only in the amounts and locations where they are needed. This reduces input costs and minimizes impact on the environment.
- A combine-mounted yield monitor produces detailed yield maps like the one shown to the right. Historical yield data along with soil test data are used to write variable rate seeding prescriptions for corn planting. This technique allows for reduced populations in low-productivity areas and increased populations where the soil will support them.
- GPS in the tractors, combined with auto-steer and overlap control technology, reduces overlap, minimizes wasted trips across the field, and greatly reduces overlapped application of seed, fertilizer, and pesticides.
- An on-farm grain handling system including continuous flow dryers, state-certified truck scales, over 600,000 bushels of storage, and the flexibility to handle Identity-Preserved (IP) crops. This system, along with the flexibility gained with having our own trucks, allows timely access to Illinois River terminals, Chicago processors, local ethanol plants, and other nearby locations when marketing conditions are favorable.
- Over the years we have grown specialty crops when they have provided sufficient economic return.These crops have included food-grade soybeans, sweet corn, popcorn, high oil corn, high endosperm corn, highly extractable starch corn, and non-GMO crops.
In short, we go to great lengths to ensure our continued success. This, in turn, results in continued success for our landowners.