eKonomics News Team
Marron Farms | Fithian, IL
The eKonomics Farmer Profile Series provides an inside look at farms across the US, sharing a peer-to-peer perspective for eKonomics readers. These profiles showcase the efforts of farmers nationwide to ensure healthy, plentiful yields in order to feed the world’s growing population.
Name: Mike Marron
Name of farm: Marron Farms
Farm location: Fithian, IL
Key crops on your farm: Corn and soybeans
A bit about your farm’s history: Our farm was settled in 1867 by my great-great-grandfather. We have steadily evolved over the years, going from a joint livestock and grain operation to strictly growing corn and soybeans.
Years in business: I returned to the family farm 14 years ago.
What’s the best part of being a farmer, in your experience?
The best part of being a farmer is participating in a profession that is meaningful. It feels great to make a living contributing to society by providing a safe and abundant food source.
Tell us how correct fertilizer usage has positively impacted your business? Have you seen a correlation between fertilizer usage and your bottom line?
Correct fertilizer applications become more and more important all the time with shrinking margins and nutrient management concerns. Being more precise in our fertilizer usage allows us to be more efficient with our resources, helping the bottom line while growing more with fewer inputs.
What is your primary source of information for making decisions related to fertilizer use?
We regularly soil test and keep up-to-date yield maps.
Please share with us your fertilizer applications process.
We use the data compiled over the growing season to adequately assess where we need to fertilize and to what extent. We discuss this with our application company that puts the information into a digital format. This information is then used for variable rate applications. We have also experimented with a strip-till system and had some good success in the process.
Do you have plans to expand your business?
Hopefully, but with the downturn in prices, already tight margins are not looking good right now. We may be in a period where we have to weather the storm for the time being so that we can emerge stronger and then continue expanding.
What about your farm are you most proud of?
The longevity over five generations.
What is the most important lesson you have learned as a farmer?
I’ve learned to not get overly excited when things are good and likewise to keep my head up when things are bad. Farming can be a roller coaster and you need to keep an even keel.
What advice would you give to a new farmer?
Have fun and enjoy a challenging but rewarding life.
What will your farm be like in 10 years?
Profitable and more efficient.