What does it mean to grow for a purpose? It means that you are growing for a specific outcome and all of your actions are driving your crop to meet those characteristics. For example, do you want to produce a high-protein wheat to market to bakeries, a low-protein wheat that would be better for a brewery, or maybe a high-oil content corn for cattle? Either way, the choice is the grower’s and it should guide all decisions along the way.
First rule of growing for a purpose, know your purpose before your seed ever hits the dirt. In fact, the seed characteristics are paramount to the success of your purpose. You will need to take into account your geography, what type of soil you have, the crop duration, past crop production, and much more. You will also want to consider the market need; you want to grow a crop that meets certain requirements for your purpose.
Once you decide on your purpose, it’s important to monitor your fields and know what is going on in the dirt. Is the temperature of the soil optimal for germination? Is the ambient air temperature speeding up your plants' growth cycle so you will need to fertilize early? Are the roots getting enough moisture to ensure the highest crop yield? The more weather and soil information you have, along with Energy Curve data, the better equipped you are to pinpoint the most valuable timing of applications which can lead to increased growth potential of your crop.
Storing your grain is next, it’s extremely important to protect your investment until you are ready to sell. You don’t want the makeup of the grain to change while you are storing it. It’s important that you know exactly what’s going on in your grain bins at all times and are able to make adjustments as needed. Understanding your purpose will guide you in the storage decisions that need to be made, whether it be controlling natural air drying to avoid over-drying and hot spots or maintaining proper germination percentage to keep as much of your crop in good health as possible.
When it’s time to go to market with your grain, it’s important that you know what your grain is worth and what the contents are; protein makeup, oil content, how it was stored, and so on. It is important you have all the data behind your crop. When a processor or grain buyer is looking for grain it’s important for them to know the whole story of your grain, the more they know the more they will be willing to pay for top quality ingredients. Your grain data is key. If a grower can eliminate contamination and provide a quality product that meets the standards and requirements of the buyer, you could be rewarded with premiums on your grain.
Growing for a purpose is putting the power and profit back in the hands of the farmers, but it’s important that the farmer know the purpose before a single seed is ever planted. Learn more about growing for a purpose by reaching out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us online at www.intellifarms.com.