Develop a detailed production and marketing plan – then stick with it.

With a few tweaks here and there, Michelle and Larry Kuhlwein farm by that philosophy on their central Ohio corn and soybean operation. They capitalize on his production expertise and her marketing savvy. The usual results are strong yields and selling prices that meet or exceed their profit goals.

While Larry runs the planter, sprayer or combine, Michelle monitors a bank of two desktop computers and one laptop. He depends on auto-guidance and variable-rate application technology (VRT) to fine-tune his agronomic practices. She uses marketing and other financial software to keep up with market trends and make final decisions on when to sell and which marketing tools to use.

“Virtually all of our land is rented, so we determined that it’s essential to use the resources we have available to make our program work,” says Michelle.

“That meant updated equipment, as well as better marketing,” adds Larry.

They farm 30-in. rows for corn and 15-in. for soybeans on various types of soil. Before a swing around the first turn row is made, every possible input cost is fed into farm-management software, which eventually yields data that identifies their production cost.