Skip Navigation

Latest News

PTI Research Farm- In Pursuit of Maximum ROI

June 20, 2023

Kevin Knisley, QLF Regional Sales Agronomist Illinois

When you talk to a farmer and ask them if they can name other farmers who are pushing the outer limits when it comes to yield, they might name several people. People like Randy Dowdy, David Hula, Kip Cullers and maybe even Dan Luepkes might be some of the farmers they would name.

One person we would add to the list is Jason Webster, Precision Planting Agronomist and director of the Precision Technical Institute or the “PTI Farm” in Pontiac, Illinois.  Jason and his team at PTI are working to push the envelope when it comes to crop yield but with a little different spin on the issue. Asking themselves, how do we maximize our return on investment (ROI)?  PTI started in 2018 with 200 acres along I-55 in Pontiac, Illinois, and has since grown to 400 acres with a shop and meeting space, grain bins, and a pond for collecting water that is recycled back for use in the fields.

PTI is a hands-on research farm where industry people come to learn about some of the latest ideas that the engineers at Precision Planting have come up with that can be used to improve farming practices.  During the summer, the public is invited to come to tour the research farm. PTI allows visitors to come and test drive tractors and planters to see how seed is placed or how liquid fertilizers are applied at different locations in and around the furrow.  They also give visitors the chance to go around to see the 400 acres of different trial plots where different products are being tested to see how they will affect yield.

QLF Agronomy has been involved with the PTI Farm from the beginning. Working with Jason Webster and his team to trial and evaluate Liquid Carbon-Based Fertilizers (L-CBF).  With so much interested in sugar products, and carbon, this relationship was win-win for QLF and PTI.  Today, QLF Agronomy’s Liquid Carbon Based Fertilizer products such as LCBF BOOST and Amino 15 are used at several different times and locations to help maximize ROI.

Throughout the research farm, there are both short-term and long-term trials to see how different cropping or tillage practices will affect yield.  Some of these trials are set to run for as long as 10 years.  The trials cover a variety of different farming practices including strip-till, cover crops, strip cropping, and water efficiency through drip irrigation.

At the end of the year, all the trial plots are harvested and the data is collected, analyzed, and published in a book that is available through your Precision Planting dealer.  For the past two winters, Jason and his team have gone on tour throughout the United States to share how the growing season went and what trials did the best. The winter tour also gives a chance for industry people to ask questions about the trials giving them a chance to learn what went well, what did not work out quite as well as they hoped, and how this trial data can apply to their farms.  After all the data is collected, a Top 10 List of the trial plots that had the highest ROI is put together. Many times, the trial plots that made it into the Top 10 were not necessarily the highest-yielding trial plots that gave the highest ROI.  Most likely you will hear Mr. Webster referring to profitability, and how he would rather have an ROI of $400 per acre versus a corn yield of 400 bushels per acre, stressing the agronomics of taking an ROI no matter how big or small every time.

Our Newsletter

Signup For The Latest News