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In spite of record rainfall in some states, unplanted acreage and trade wars erupting between the U.S. and several countries, no-tillers still managed to improve their financial position a bit in 2019, according to results of the 12th annual No-Till Farmer Operational Benchmark Study.
Some 81% of no-tillers reported a profit in 2019, which was up from 72% in 2018 and the third increase reported over the last 4 years. It’s the highest percentage of no-tillers reporting a profit since 81% in 2014 (see Table 1).
About 19% of respondents reported they took a loss in 2019, which is much higher than 11% in 2018. Some of the difference may be due to the survey eliminating “flat” as an answer for the revenue category for 2019. An average of 16% of growers have said profit/loss was “flat” since 2015.
For the average net profit per farm in 2019, growers reported $48,000, down from $59,000 logged in 2018, slightly lower than 2017 ($51,000) but a little higher than results in 2015 and 2016.
More than 600 growers — with average cropping acres of 1,082 — responded to No-Till Farmer’s exclusive survey on no-till practices. Some 77% were practicing no-till on their acres, 6% were using strip-till, 7% used vertical tillage and 6% used min-till. Only 4% of respondents reported using any conventional tillage last year.
Looking ahead to 2020, no-tillers projected average expenditures per farm of $410,000, a drop of $29,000 (or 6%) over 2019. They’re projecting to spend $378…