After 2 years of data, Gregg Sauder averaged an additional 6.2 bushels per acre of corn after soybeans by banding, rather than broadcasting nutrients. Corn-on-corn acres averaged an additional 16 bushels per acre with banded nutrients, compared to broadcasted. “Broadcasting takes double the fertilizer to get the same nutrient value vs. banding,” Sauder says. Image: Gregg Sauder

Managing Inputs for Maximum Returns

With ingenuity & engineering, Gregg Sauder & family work out a system for putting nutrients & water right where they’re needed

I'm a farmer above all. If I could just do one thing, I would farm, but I figured out that I have to have other things to do to help pay for that

My family and I love inventing things. We farm in Tremont, Ill. Back in 1993, my wife, Cindy, and I founded Precision Planting, which we sold to Monsanto in 2012. I’m also the founder and CEO of 360 Yield Center, which aims to maximize yields and returns in part through effective nutrient management. 

Once, a gentleman came up and was thanking me for some of the things I invented, and I said, "Let me tell you the truth — it's all for my own selfish good." I had this great team around me, so I'd go to the whiteboard and start drawing out all these crazy ideas, and we'd come up with these things. And it was really for us, but then we'd turn to you and say graciously, "Hey, how about it?" So it works out for everyone.

Whether we like it or not, the cost of inputs is higher than they should be and that’s not going to change. In a $6.50-$7 corn market, now is not the time to wean off inputs. 

Now, I like to live on the jagged edge of using no more inputs than we absolutely need, but you better be sure that you're right about what you need. And for me, this simply starts out with the understanding that corn…

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