The $100,000 Decision You’re About to Make

2 min readFeb 18, 2020
It’s almost time to plant which means it’s time to make some varietal decisions…

It’s that time of year again where things seem to be waking up from the doldrums of Winter…the grass is greening up, pollen is falling everywhere and even an occasional snake shows up…not to mention snake-oil salesmen (kidding, kind of). With the weather warming up, there is an urge to get back into the field and to get outside and do the part of farming that everyone loves.

For almost every farmer, the idea of Spring is one of hope and excitement with the opportunity to get back outside and resume stewarding the land which they’ve been entrusted to.

For the seasoned farmer, warm weather is a signal that means it’s time to get back into the fields. Our minds shift from focusing on long terms goals and business planning, to work that’s left to be done to get our equipment field ready. Often times however, when focusing on the details of our spring planting operation, we fail to put the proper focus or time on what could arguably be called the most important decision that you make each year…what varieties of each crop to plant in each field. I know, I know, if the planter isn’t fully set up and ready to go next week when there’s moisture and the soil temperature is perfect, then it won’t matter what variety you plant. I hear you.

But consider this:

Go check variety trials on almost any crop at almost any comprehensive university trial and you’ll see the same thing. On irrigated crops, the difference is even more magnified. To put this into perspective, if you are farming 1000 acres, the difference between choosing the optimal variety and choosing an average variety could be over $100,000 profit for your farming operation.

That is the $100,000 decision. So before you get busy on the minutia of planting preparations and pass off your seeding decisions your local dealer, take the time and do this right. Grab a cup of coffee, turn your phone off and do the work yourself. You know your land better than anyone. Determining what varieties to plant where may well be the most important decision you make on your farm this year and surely can be the most profitable. Here’s to a good planting season for everyone.

Originally published at




AgFuse is a free platform for farmers and agricultural professionals to connect, share information, and form valuable associations.