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Maybe I’m crazy. I hope not. I’ve always thought of myself as a rational person. But I was hesitant to believe that any no-tiller could cut his no-till acres from 10,000 acres to 3,600, sell a line of equipment, cut back on chemical applications and increase his profit margin.
Then I sat in on Kelly Johnson’s talk at the National No-Tillage Conference last January in St. Louis, Mo. And I haven’t been the same since.
This Assiniboia, Saskatchewan, no-tiller is about as sharp as they come when it comes to business sense. (Or should I say cents?) And he’s got a dozen ways that no-tillers can save themselves the backache of overextending their labor force and the headache of dealing with angry bankers. How does he do it? It’s not that difficult, he says.
Here’s Johnson’s secrets to economical success. Take heed—they may be just the advice you’ve been looking for.
“The first thing I did to decide how I’m going to survive in times when they got a little difficult a few years back is that I made a commitment,” Johnson says.
That commitment included setting a budget on a set price. For Johnson, it was the low price of $3 wheat.
“I use low prices because I believe if I want my farm to survive, it has to be able to survive 2 or 3 years of low prices,” he says. “I can do it on a budget of $3, but I sure enjoy it when…