Patrick Riley’s Farm
Patrick has been using tried and true methods on his crops, but now more than ever, he is open to new management strategies that will potentially increase yield.
As a first-generation farmer, Patrick started his operation in 1975 and hasn’t looked back. At first, Patrick was raising cattle, but he and his family have shifted to growing crops such as corn, soybeans, hay, and wheat across 3,000 acres of land in Ohio County, Kentucky.
Before planting, Patrick performs a cost analysis to balance his operation’s expenses with projected yield and ROI. With the rise in input prices, each nutrient management decision is made carefully to ensure a successful season.
Fuel and fertilizer prices are top of mind for Patrick this season. Many farmers are cutting fertilizer rates while others are switching their corn acres to soybeans because of the potentially lower input and fuel costs for soybeans.
When estimating the cost of fuel alone, Patrick says, “A 100-acre field takes 100 gallons of diesel to get across at $4 per gallon. You have to do that about six or seven times. And whenever you put a combine in the field that’s two gallons of diesel per acre in the field. You also must add in the cost of driving on the highway. So, when you add that cost on top of all other costs, you’ve really changed your outcome of making any money. I sit down and figure out all these costs.”
Patrick is excited to see if applying ammonium sulfate to his test field will contribute to a positive yield response. If so, he is more than willing to make the investment on soybeans and corn in the future.
Made in Kentucky
By the Numbers
AVERAGE SOYBEAN YIELD 2022
ACRES IN TEST FIELD
SOYBEAN ROW SPACING
TEST FIELD YIELD GOAL
After observing a yield bump and noticeable ROI from his ammonium sulfate (AMS) application last year, Patrick is chomping at the bit for year two. While he saw a positive response from AMS last year, Patrick is hoping to learn more about how weather and rainfall may affect its impact on soybeans. He is also looking forward to expanding his trial across more acres compared to a smaller trial in 2022.
This year, Patrick is featuring a pair of 90-acre fields within half a mile of each other. One field will receive an AMS application and the other field will remain untreated. Both fields will include a row spacing of 15 inches and a seed population of 150,000.
Meet Patrick & His Family
Patrick and his family take a partnership approach in making nutrient management decisions to maximize ROI in their operation.
Three Heads Are Better Than One
For Patrick, farming is not a job. It’s a lifestyle. He enjoys being outside and loves being his own boss, but making a living alongside his son, Brad, and grandson, Logan, is the best part of the job. Patrick manages the finances and keeps track of what works for them, but he will not implement anything without first talking to his son. The goal is to discuss an idea as a family, then take action.
By the time chores are done on the farm, there isn’t much time to relax, but Patrick does enjoy going to church as a family, taking a dip in the pool and spending time at home with his wife Carol. Home is his favorite place to be.