The Nebraska Soybean and Feed Grains Profitability Project (NSFGPP) is a unique partnership among Nebraska farmers, agribusiness (crop consultants, seed dealers, etc.) and University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension faculty (Extension Educators and Specialists). Together partners analyze farmers' production and marketing systems, then identify potential agronomic practices or marketing strategies that can lead to a more profitable farming operation.
A 2002 survey of NSFGPP farmers and agribusiness representatives demonstrated the impact of this dynamic relationship among Nebraska farmers, agribusiness and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
- Presently, 62 NSFGPP private industry cooperators and farmers, with average project tenure of 5.75 years, represent more than 150,000 acres of cropland.
- Forty-six farmers, representing 40 farm operations estimated that the NSFGPP project improved their profitability by an average of $7,768/operation annually for a cumulative impact of $310,720 annually.
- Private industry cooperators estimated the annual value of the project to their business to be $5,253 annually, or cumulatively $84,048 annually.
- Ninety-seven percent of NSFGPP members indicated that considering all of the agricultural educational opportunities that are available to them, they would rank the NSFGPP "above average" or the "best" agricultural education program available to them.
- Forty-one percent of this group rated the NSFGPP as the "best" agricultural education opportunity available to them.
- Thirty-seven percent of NSFGPP producers and 83% of NSFGPP consultants use GIS/GPS technologies to conduct their farm research.
Project participants were asked why the NSFGPP should exist and/or continue. A few responses included:
- There is a positive image of this program because of the joint effort among Extension, industry and agricultural producers to help improve agricultural profitability.
- It educates all of us on proper scientific methods for on-farm testing of production questions.
- A small amount of dollars leveraged into a huge savings/revenue enhancement.
- NSFGPP is made up of farmers set out to make their operations and others more profitable while not creating problems for the community.
- Very unbiased presentation of data. Much of this information tends to apply to everyone farming.
- This is a totally unique program with a lot of volunteer effort, producing information that benefits all area producers.
- Because any research done on farm is more believable for a lot of producers.
- To increase profitability to farmers. To provide more agricultural research without more tax dollars.
- It is the only large-scale, farm-size and current research available.
- I like the backup support and statistical data, plus design setup for practical on-farm projects.
Project members were also asked what they liked best about the NSFGPP. They responded:
- Discussions with other growers, sharing of ideas.
- The people. Makes one think critically about all inputs. Open discussion at meetings.
- It helps farmers independent of supplies, fertilizer, seed, technology, etc.
- Farmer involvement in research.
- Excellent management of program by Extension personnel.
- Camaraderie with a unique group of farmers and companionship between University and producers.
- Exposure to reliable, impartial information about crop production practices and products. I can more profitability adopt new, cutting edge technologies.
- I visit with the best operators in eastern Nebraska.
- I'm continuing to learn information that I can practically apply to my operation.
NSFGPP members indicate that the commodity marketing component specifically has taught them to use more information for marketing decisions, develop annual marketing plans, calculate their break-even prices and understand season price trends better.