Thank goodness for high grain prices — and crop insurance, too. A topsy-turvy 2012 saw both the highs and lows of choosing a career as a farmer.
The anticipation of a strong agricultural economy in 2012, as well as an unusually warm March, had no-tillers enthusiastic about the potential for another banner year as they headed to the fields. A widespread drought hitting most regions of the Corn Belt quickly stole all the momentum.
To top it all off, the cost of doing business on an acre of farmland increased again. However, the 4.5% increase in expenses in 2012 paled in comparison to 2011 when costs per acre of land rose a staggering 22%.
The light at the end of the tunnel was that more readers of No-Till Farmer reported a gain in net income than those who took a loss. For every three no-tillers that made a net profit in 2012, only one suffered a net loss.
Overall, respondents came in with a net profit that was more than 16% greater than in 2011.
The data reported in our 5th annual No-Till Operational Benchmark Study is the result of 603 readers of No-Till Farmer taking the time to fill out a 4-page, 69-question survey. A total of 2,500 surveys were distributed proportionately to where the paid-subscribing readers of No-Till Farmer are located.
This is a one-of-a-kind industry survey exclusive to No-Till Farmer.
The average size of a No-Till Farmer reader’s farm was 1,215 acres, down from…