He’s only been farming for less than ten years, but already Randy Dowdy of Valdosta, Georgia has made quite a name for himself by making history last year with a yield of nearly 504 bushels per acre in the National Corn Yield Contest.
During a BASF media event in Tennessee this week, Dowdy talked about his philosophy when it comes to farming. “Being a first generation farmer, I didn’t have preconceived notions so we had to learn a lot from smarter people around us instead of re-inventing the wheel,” said Dowdy. “You have to be a student of the crop…you have to have data and understand the science behind it.”
Dowdy is all about trying new things but his ultimate goal is return on investment. “You can spend $2000 on a crop, but if it only nets you $2000, what did you gain? So the goal is to be profitable, that’s what’s going to help you be sustainable,” he said.
While Dowdy expects to be getting some more big yields in corn this year, he’s been getting a little more into soybeans. “I don’t want to be one dimensional…we need rotation and we need other crops, we can’t just mono crop,” he said. “It’s been a learning experience…I’m taking notes and walking the field.”
As he said, Dowdy likes to learn a lot from “smarter people” around him, and those include BASF representatives who have been thrilled to help him achieve bigger yields and continue pushing the envelope. “You use people that you’ve built a relationship with that have that trusted adviser status, they’re not just trying to sell you something but they’re helping you reach that ultimate goal of making more money and being successful,” he said.
Listen to my interview with Randy here: Interview with Georgia farmer Randy Dowdy
Watch a video of part of his comments in the field at the BASF event in Tennessee below: