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How Farmers are Addressing the Top 5 Challenges of 2024

How Farmers are Addressing the Top 5 Challenges of 2024
April 4, 2024
Addressing Farming Challenges

How Farmers are Addressing the Top 5 Farming Challenges of the Year

Growers across the US are using agricultural biologicals to create predictability in unpredictable conditions

Today’s farmers face challenges that seem to multiply with each passing season … and this year is no different. From volatile commodity prices and continually diminishing margins to degrading soil quality and unpredictable weather patterns, farmers need trusted solutions that will help maximize crop productivity and ensure overall profitability on their farms.

What if we told you there was something that could help alleviate the five top farming challenges that U.S. farmers are facing this season … with one simple product?

That product? Agricultural biologicals.

Agricultural biologicals feature beneficial microorganisms that deliver agronomic advantages to crops and the soil the crops are grown in.

To be successful THIS YEAR, farmers across the US are using biologicals to:

  1. Combat declining commodity prices
  2. Address diminishing returns
  3. Create more resilient crops
  4. Make other farming practices more successful
  5. Unlock new revenue streams

Continue reading to explore how agricultural biologicals can be essential to reducing farming challenges and amplifying farming efforts this year.


Farming Challenge #1: Agricultural Biologicals Combat Declining Commodity Prices

In 2024, corn is seeing the steepest market downturn in a decade leaving many farmers wishing they had sold a lot more last year when prices were still high.

In years like this, maximizing crop yields is imperative for financial stability.

Agricultural biologicals can help farmers combat declining commodity prices in years like this by increasing crop yields and optimizing inputs. Specific strains of biologicals are proven to expand root growth, increase nutrient uptake and enhance plant vigor. These agronomic benefits lead to increased crop yields.

Example: Locus Agriculture (Locus AG) biologicals have been proven to increase corn yields by up to 9 bu/acre. This data is collected from more than 28 trials across 11 states. Results are considered “statistically significant”. This means that they were replicated in enough trials to have at least a 95% confidence level that farmers will see the same results in fields across the US.

Corn Data Biologicals - Farming Challenges

Farming Challenge #2: Agricultural Biologicals Address Farmers’ Diminishing Margins

Net farm income is expected to drop 27% this year. If this happens, it would be the largest single-year decline in annual farm income since 2006. It marks the largest two-year decline in net farm incomes since 1982. (Farm Progress)

As operational costs rise – diesel, inputs, machinery, etc. – and margins continually shrink, farmers will need to identify cost-effective solutions that can provide meaningful return on investment.

Agricultural biologicals present an opportunity to increase margins in two key ways:

  1. First, by protecting the most important investment a farmer makes – their seeds. Many biologicals can be applied directly to the seed to increase its likelihood of success. Application can fit into existing farming practices and be applied upstream at a seed dealer, or on-farm through a hopper box or in-furrow. Biological seed treatments drive optimal results with low-risk financial or operational investment.
  2. Second, certain agricultural biologicals optimize input utilization for farmers. Locus AG biologicals have been shown to enhance both nutrient uptake and water-use efficiency. Studies confirm that the biological solutions not only improve crop performance but also sustain yield levels, even under reduced fertilizer applications or limited water usage.

Farming Challenge #3: Agricultural Biologicals Create More Resilient Crops

Today’s crops are being put to the test. Between erratic weather patterns, declining soil quality and erosion, farmers are seeking ways to make more resilient crops.

Agricultural biologicals work proactively to make crops more resilient through:

  • Expanded root systems that can take up more nutrients and better withstand extreme weather
  • Larger leaves that can increase photosynthetic activity and improve crop productivity

Through the agronomic benefits that biologicals bring, crops are better equipped to withstand adverse conditions and stressors.

This creates an opportunity to have a more consistent harvest despite unpredictable circumstances.

“Locus AG biologicals have helped us hang on just long enough to get to the next rain and the crop is showing it. Happy soil, happy plant.” – Grower Quote – Scott Scheimer, Scheimer Farms, Cheyenne Wells, CO

Farming Challenge #4: Agricultural Biologicals Enhance Other Farming Practices

Most farmers today utilize a variety of farming practices across their fields, which can include different input strategies, crop rotations and other high-performing and/or sustainable practices. Often, farmers will rotate and try practices across different fields on their farm to test results and mitigate risks both long-term and for the season.

All of these practices are investments that take time and resources. Farmers often have to rely on the hope that these practices will be successful.

Agricultural biologicals can be easily integrated with other farming practices to enhance their success.

Some of the benefits biologicals bring to other farming practices include:

  • Increasing nutrient uptake – agricultural biologicals can enhance the uptake of NPK and other nutrients in the soil and unlock previously applied inputs that are stuck in the soil
  • Providing crop-specific benefits – for farmers who rotate crops, certain agricultural biologicals are available in crop-specific formulations and applications to ensure agronomic benefits to each specific crop
  • Making cover crops more successful – agricultural biologicals can expand the root and vegetative growth of cover crops and make the investment more successful
  • Enhancing no-tilling and reduced-tilling – agricultural biologicals provide unique benefits to reduced- and no-till farmers, through enhancing crop development in cooler soils, expanding root growth to access nutrients, reducing soil compaction and potentially translocating and cycling nutrients deeper into soils
  • Complementing other high-performance farming practices – some biologicals are mixed with talc/graphite, which can be used as a seed carrier for high-performance farming to lubricate seeds while giving it an added agronomic boost. These biologicals can be applied on-farm, or at the seed dealer and then delivered to the farm ready to plant for maximum harvest.

Farming Challenge #5: Unlocking Additional Revenue Streams

Sometimes growing crops just isn’t enough. With all the challenges that farmers face, many are looking for opportunities to generate new revenue streams and increase farm profitability. One of the top options is through selling carbon credits. However, farmers are often not eligible for carbon programs or don’t generate enough additional revenue to make the investment worth it.

A specific line of biologicals from Locus AG can be used to both unlock and maximize this new carbon revenue stream for farmers.

These biologicals are approved as an “additionality” or a qualifying practice change that enables farmers to generate and sell carbon credits in Locus AG’s CarbonNOW® carbon farming program.

In addition to a new revenue stream, Locus AG’s CarbonNOW carbon farming program offers an array of financial incentives for farmers such as:

  • Yield-boosting biological products – Locus AG’s biologicals are proven to increase crop yields across most major row crops. Increased yields = increased revenues.
  • No-cost product use – Farmers in CarbonNOW purchase biologicals and receive two product subsidy payments annually that cover 100% of the product cost. It’s a zero-risk way to try these powerful biologicals.
  • Revenue-sharing opportunities – CarbonNOW growers can receive a revenue share of up to 20% from the sale of the carbon credits CarbonNOW utilizes Locus AG’s flagship Rhizolizer® line of row crop biologicals. This product line features the strain Trichoderma, a carbon sequestering powerhouse, which works by creating a bigger plant, which brings in more sunlight and increases photosynthetic activity. All of this enables the plant to capture more carbon and put it into the ground where it belongs.

More carbon in the ground = more cash in farmers pockets.

Looking to Reduce Farming Challenges & Protect Investments This Season?

For farmers looking to reduce their farming challenges and protect their investments this season, biologicals are a valuable asset. Locus AG’s products have been proven through hundreds of randomized and replicated trials to increase crop yields and ROI in most major row crops.

The biologicals are produced in the USA, available for immediate shipment, and are supplied through many major agricultural distributors and retailers.

Locus AG biologicals aren’t just nice-to-haves; they are Simply Vital to farming success this season.

Want to learn how Locus AG vital biologicals can increase your yields and profits?

Fill out the form below and one of our agricultural experts will be in touch.