A new tool from AcreShield called Yield Optimizer creates a precise list that ranks top-performing hybrids by yield, specific to a farmer’s location, and eliminates the Yield Gap.
The first independent seed-selector program, Yield Optimizer, provides farmers with objective seed performance data and helps them choose the best hybrids for their farms. An industry-first yield performance protection warranty program backs this new tool.
Maximizing yield through minimizing components of yield risk is key to determining profitable farm operations. Profitability generally depends on getting crop yields close to 100 percent or more compared to historical yields.
While crop insurance covers up to 85 percent of a farmer’s historical yield, profits are at risk when yields fall between 85 percent and 100 percent. This 15 percent shortfall is the Yield Gap. (See Figure 1.) Before Yield Optimizer, there was no cost-effective seed selection program with financial protection to safeguard farmers whose yields fell into the Yield Gap.
“Yield Gap is a universal problem to all row crop farmers and more than 200 million acres are challenged each year,” said Billy Rose, AcreShield CEO. “With farm profitability dependent on achieving crop yields of 100 percent or more compared to historical yields, this 15 percent difference in the Yield Gap often determines if a farmer will make or lose money. The Yield Optimizer provides a valuable, unbiased review of seed hybrid performance. There is no marketing component, no manipulation of information. We deliver raw, verified seed trial data analysis to farmers to help them protect their farms and profitability. Yield Optimizer helps solve the problem of Yield Gap happening.”
Yield Optimizer, with the associated Yield Gap protections, is available in a three-tiered offering with introductory pricing at $5.00, $8.00 or $15.00 per acre. The respective Yield Gap protection payments for these prices are up to $25, $56 or $105 per acre. Farmers can sign up during the early sign-up period with introductory pricing valid until April 15. Sign-up will continue at standard prices after this date. AM Best A+ rated reinsurers cover eligible protection warranty payments.
The timing is right
The arrival of Yield Optimizer comes as farmers are challenged with low commodity prices. The recently released 2024 Farm Sector Income Forecast from USDA’s Economic Research Service projects further decreases in farm income nationwide. In addition to prudent financial management, increased yields can improve farm income and profitability.
“Yield Optimizer can help farmers who are looking to increase revenue by having good production and want to close the Yield Gap between 85 percent and 100 percent to reduce the risk of growing their crops,” said Michael Kahl, owner of the Michael Kahl Agency and distributor for AcreShield in Winfield, Pennsylvania. “This offers a scientific approach, not a gambler’s approach, to address the Yield Gap.”
Jeff Leerer, a Kensett, Iowa, farmer, said Yield Optimizer is what he needs now.
“I typically outperform the county and don’t have yields below 85 percent. Yield Optimizer’s hybrid intelligence can help me with seed selection and if I have performance levels between 85 percent and 100 percent, I am protected,” he said.
How it works
“Yield Optimizer aggregates comprehensive data from respected, independent seed trial plots along with proprietary seed trial data,” Rose said. “The outputs we provide represent specific field-level performance for more than 700 seed varieties. Yield Optimizer uses this information to create an extensive list that ranks top-performing brands and hybrids by yield, specific to a farmer’s location. These unique insights provide farmers with unbiased, verified hybrid yield data to help them make the best seed selection for their operation. We back this with a yield performance guarantee that allows the farmer flexibility to choose the best seed for their farm.
“Farmers don’t get to choose their soil, but they can choose their seed. While weather has a big impact on yields, the selection of the proper seed hybrid is where yields start. Three years of unbiased, scientific seed trial data shows that in the same field, soil, and weather conditions, a hybrid selection affects yields by up to 40 bushels per acre depending on the hybrid selected when analyzing the top 30 percent of commercially available hybrids,” Rose said.
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Author: Heidi Crnkovic