With farm costs rising and margins tightening, operations opted to grow to remain profitable. The economies of scale theory, suggests the bigger the operation, the more profitable it is. Between 2011 and 2016, the average size of farms in Canada increased by 5.3%, and cropped land expanded to 93.4 million acres1.
In Australia, Morris customer Matthew Steber has adopted this strategy. In an article for Australia’s GroundCoverTM magazine2, he shared the strategy behind a 300% expansion in the size of his operation. “Matthew says he has always been driven by scale because the overhead (fixed) costs of farming are massive and he wants to build profit on a per hectare basis as quickly as he can.
“We try to spread our fixed costs over as many hectares as is practical to keep them down on a per hectare basis,’ he says.”
While farms are growing, the window of time to seed them isn’t. Larger seeding equipment has helped address this problem. The next wave of technology is focused on reduced overlap during seeding. Input control technology (ICT), introduced and refined over the past decade, allows growers to manage overlap with ease.
ICT: How It Works
Morris’ ICTTM system is managed by our Topcon X35 controller. ICT works with GPS to turn individual metering wheels off to stop the flow of seed and fertilizer over areas that have already been seeded in a previous pass. The metering wheels stay primed with product, ensuring that product continues to meter into the air stream as soon as it is re-engaged.
The Benefits of Input Control
A 2009 study by Alberta’s AgTech centre3 found that overlap could cost a grower as much $8/acre. Input control reduces overlap on headlands, and when seeding around obstacles, like potholes and brush. Savings on inputs vary based on the width of the seeder used, variability of the land, and moisture conditions of the soil.
Morris ICT cart customers reported their crop input savings ranged from 2 – 11.5%, with the average saving of 6.5% in a 2018 survey. Customers at the low end of the range typically farm large square fields with 1-2 mile seeding passes, while customers with higher savings reported farming around sloughs, oil wells and non-rectangular fields caused by water runs, creeks and rivers.
Better Yields, Better Quality, Faster Harvest
Seeding overlaps often result in crop lodging. Lodged crops reduce harvest speed and frequently reduce grain yield and quality. Input control leads to uniform fields with even maturity allowing farmers to get their crop out of the field and in the bin.
Ease of Use
ICT is simple to use, enabling new operators to master operation of a seeding system quickly and efficiently. (Read about the panel at our Agri-Trade dealer and customer event, where Alberta grower Jason Anderson talked about his experience with hired labour during 2018 seeding)
Aside from the benefits to your bottom line, sectional control has other, more intangible, benefits. Sectional control technology can reduce fatigue and improve concentration so you can stay focused on your farming goals.
Watch Morris Input Control Technology™ at Work
What Growers Think of ICT
Read more about the experiences of Morris customers who have implemented Input Control TechnologyTM into their operations:
Are you using input control in your operation? Tweet us @Morris_Seeding and share your results!