Market Journal: Marketing Key to Profitability in 2017 TAPS Contest

Market Journal: Marketing Key to Profitability in 2017 TAPS Contest January 12, 2018

This week on Market Journal host Jeff Wilkerson talks with Daran Rudnick, Nebraska Extension ag water management specialist, about the 2017 Testing Ag Performance Solutions (TAPS) contest. TAPS offered producers an opportunity to compete against each other as well as university scientists to see who can produce corn most profitably, efficiently, and with the highest yield. Each team had three replicated plots at the university's West Central Research and Education Center at North Platte, where they could pick their own variety, seeding rate, and irrigation and nitrogen applications, as well as manage their marketing and crop insurance.

At the end of the season, after all was tallied, eight of the farms were profitable and seven were not. Not surprisingly, Rudnick says, marketing was a major factor contributing to the success of the most profitable farm, which produced a yield of 257.3 bu/ac and a profit of $146.89/ac. The farm with the highest yield had a less aggressive marketing plan and, while profitable, was on the lower end.

Results indicated efficiency was driven by how well participants irrigated and fertilized, Rudnick said. Participants used a range of inputs, from 2.5 to 11 inches of irrigation water and from 150-240 lb/ac of nitrogen.

The competition also afforded growers an opportunity to try various technologies available through the university center, from field sensors to lab analyses to aerial views of their fields.

Learn more about the program and view results from the 2017 season in this competition report presented at the awards banquet. Also see a brief summary of the results.

Rudnick says the contest will be continued next year with several new options likely to be added.

Also on this week's Market Journal:

Tax Update: Section 1031 Elimination

Tina Barrett, Nebraska Farm Business Inc. executive director, explains how the elimination of Section 1031 for personal property could impact farm operations. Barrett also discusses this topic and shares an overview of how the 2017 Tax Relief Act may affect growers in this week's CropWatch.

Cattle Market Analysis

Mike Briggs, Briggs Feedyard manager, describes how commodity funds have impacted futures markets. Mike also talks about feedlot placements, beef demand and profit margins.

Breeding Costs

Aaron Berger, Nebraska Extension educator, discusses the importance of understanding how breeding costs affect profitability on a cow/calf operation.

Weather Forecast

Al Dutcher, Nebraska Extension agricultural climatologist, gives his forecast for the coming week.