Farm Visits have an Economic Impact for Area Farmers

January - March 2003

Paul Kassel , crops field specialist

Situation
Area farmers have individual needs concerning their row crop operations. Farmers seek research-based, unbiased information to make good decisions regarding their farm operation.

Response
Extension can respond to individual needs of area farmers by assessing crop problems in the field. In-field assessments can help farmers with decision-making and can make an educational impact at the teachable moment. Sometimes these in-field assessments can help the farmer realize a sizable economic impact.

I made a total of 64 farm visits in 2002. These visits represent 101 hours of contact time with the farmer (excludes time for travel, preparation, follow-up, etc).

I sent out 28 evaluations of ‘one-on-one contact/crop management' to individuals where I thought there would be some economic impact and sixteen evaluations were returned.

Impact
Twelve reported some economic impact of the farm visit. The range of economic impact was $5.00 per acre to $100.00 per acre. The average impact was $26.83 on 970 acres for a total impact of $26,028.

One example of the impact is in minor adjustments in crop production management – like taking soybean cyst nematode (SCN) samples to confirm SCN levels. One individual said he would fine-tune his soybean production operation by “watching iron chlorosis deficiency resistance scores and soybean cyst nematode resistance scores more closely.”

Farm visits are useful to area farmers to document crop damage from herbicide injury. The value of one such visit and follow up letter of documentation was worth $88 per acre on 56 acres for the farmer with the crop damage.

Other problems involved stand assessment of alfalfa fields, worth about $100.00 per acre on 50 acres. Another farm visit simply confirmed the feelings of the farmer concerning his hail damaged soybean field. His field did not need replanted (as he suspected), and he goes on to say that, “we appreciated your prompt response and will probably use your services again. Thanks – Paul.”

Page last updated: July 7, 2006
Page maintained by Linda Schultz, lschultz@iastate.edu