Profile: Seth & Jesse More
-- Dee River Ranch
-- Aliceville, Alabama
-- Corn, Soybeans, Cover Crops, Cattle
Seth More is harvesting soybeans and talking about the farm he's on today. "The people we bought this land from said they could run four or five combines all day and wouldn't fill a truckload with beans," he says. "We fill a truck using one harvester in 20 minutes. That just shows you how much things have changed in Southern agriculture. It shows you what technology is capable of."
Seth and his brother Jesse rely on that technology to help them manage 10,000 acres, 4,000 of which are in corn and soybeans, this year. And, as important as it is, Seth says technology is also one of their biggest ongoing challenges.
"Everything is changing so fast. What I thought I knew two years ago is old. Companies keep changing, updating. I honestly don't feel I've been able to catch up to it," he says.
Technology has also forced dramatic changes in the availability of farmworkers who can handle an increasingly complex job. "You can't just grab someone off the street to do farm work anymore," Seth explains. "To work in agriculture today, you have to be computer literate. That's one reason you see more operations like ours adding partners. We need people we can count on. My brother Jesse came in as partner a couple of years ago to help."
There's more to farming than technology, though, even in 2020. There's adapting to the land and finding ways to improve the odds of success. Here in Aliceville, that means a lot of diversification and, at times, making extra trips across the field to pinch pennies on nitrogen applications.
This year, Seth notes they decided to split nitrogen applications on corn into thirds. The strategy paid off, as heavy rains plagued the operation throughout the year. The erodibility of this sandy land is always top of mind, and it's one reason they plant cover crops across all of their row-crop acreage. They also keep CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) land, timber and grasslands, and run a commercial Brangus herd and produce hay.
It's a lot of work for a few people, but Seth says family is the thing he knows he can count on to work it all out. "My wife, Jodie, is a big part of my success," he says. "We rely on our families, and we know they are counting on us. That really matters when times are tough."
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