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Joel Lange’s Farm

Joel prioritizes supplemental crop nutrition to ensure he’s maximizing crop potential as yields trend higher.

Joel Lange joined the Marines after high school graduation. Four years later, he was back on his family’s farm.

“Agriculture brings a sense of freedom and the ability to grow something with your own hands,” said Joel, who raises row crops today with his brother Steven in Greene County, Iowa.

The roots of the Lange family farm date back to the 1960s in Holt County, Nebraska, when Joel’s grandfather started the operation. Following their father Mark’s retirement, the Lange brothers became the primary operators in 2008. Joel said Nebraska’s unfavorable water rights and high property taxes motivated the family to move the farm to Greene County, Iowa just four years later.

Overhead View

The brothers have specific, separate roles on the family’s farm. Joel handles farm management tasks such as financial operations and grain marketing, while Steven takes care of the day-to-day operations on the farm. A third full-time employee provides an extra pair of hands in operating the farm.

Despite their varying job responsibilities, the Lange brothers take a partnership approach to running a successful farm. From creating nutrient management plans to harvesting the crop at the end of the season, they work together.

Joel added soybeans to the farm’s crop rotation when they moved to Iowa because soybeans are the ideal rotational complement to a high-yielding corn crop and helps improve the long-term health of the heavy clay soils in his region. The family also raises corn, organic alfalfa and small grains.

By planting early and using high-yielding soybean varieties, Joel and his family continue to push the yield envelope.

Joel’s Field

Made in Iowa

By the Numbers

62 bu/ac




70 bu/ac

Joel plants soybeans as early as possible and has historically applied dry nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium in a strip-till system. He knows evolving production technology, targeted genetics and changing growing conditions are contributing to the gradual increase in average soybean yields. To keep up with that yield trend and continue to optimize plant health and potential yield, he’s added supplemental crop nutrition.

As part of that effort to better supplement his soybean’s in-season nutrition, Joel is participating in the Supplement Your Soybeans field trials. His test field has a plant population of 130,000 plants per acre on 30-inch rows. By adding ammonium sulfate to his crop nutrition program, he’s hoping for an 8-bu/acre yield improvement over his average 2020 yield of 62 bu/acre.

Meet Joel and His Family

When Joel isn’t busy working on the farm, he enjoys spending his free time with his wife and kids.

Farming as a Family

The saying is that it takes a village to raise a family. One could say the same thing about running a farm operation. Joel considers himself lucky to have the best of both worlds.

Managing a 2,400-acre farm and raising a family leaves little downtime. But in those few spare moments, Joel enjoys spending time with wife Tanner and kids Carson, Callie, Brecken and Brantley. Joel’s sister Emily and her four children are in nearby Manson, Iowa, so any spare time for Joel is also family time.

Joel also serves as a board member for Greene County Corn Growers, a division of the Iowa Corn Growers Association. He enjoys his role in recruiting new farmer-members to become part of the association.

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