Who’s got the most profitable crop?
New Ontario contest to crown the most profitable acre
By Brandy Harrison
GUELPH — Come this harvest, bragging rights won’t be all about tipping the scales of the weigh bin. A new contest is putting farmers’ business skills to the test to find Ontario’s most profitable acre.
"There are a lot of high-yield challenges where it doesn’t matter how much it costs and farmers put whatever it takes into the ground. What we’re asking is for farmers to look at the business side of growing those crops," says Ashley Honsberger, the communications and client services lead with the Agricultural Management Institute, the Guelph-based non-profit behind the contest.
The most profitable acre challenge pits corn and soybean producers against each other in two categories.
The primary measurement is a profit margin and cost of production calculation that not only looks at yield on the best plot but also at input costs for everything from fertilizer and seed to land rent and custom applications. Farmers need to hand in fertilizer, seed, and pesticide receipts with their entry. The records of the top four contestants will get a more thorough going over before a winner is declared.
But the institute, which promotes the benefits of farm business management, will also award points to farmers who showcase their business know-how in various ways, such as having a marketing plan or belonging to a business club.
The grand prize winner heads to the 2013 International Farm Management Association Congress in Poland and will be able to stock their library with farm resource management books.
But Honsberger hopes it’ll be a win for all farmers: they’ll learn what their most business-savvy neighbours are doing to keep the profits rolling in.
It’s free to enter and the deadline is Nov. 23. For contest rules and to download the entry form, visit www.takeanewapproach.ca.