Updated: What's your farm's highest ROI? Answers from 212 farmers

Nick Horob

We recently asked a bunch of farmers for their highest ROI investment/activiy/practice over the last year or two.

194 212 replied. See below for their answers.

“More time with cash flow and fertility management/tile & combine/planter updates”
John Rosenboom - NW Iowa

“Zone soil sampling and variable rate fertilizer and an improved fertility plan. Yes, Harvest Profit had a high ROI as well.”
Marty Reichenberger - Independence, KS

If you’re a profit-focused farmer interested in better tracking your farm’s cost of production, grain marketing, and field-by-field profitability, you can try out a 14-day free trial of our farm managment software.

Learn more here: HarvestProfit.com/freetrial

Keith - South Dakota

“Grain bins. Doing our own mechanic work. Renting equipment that isn’t used often or on very many acres.”
Brian - Nebraska

“Buying our own sprayer and switching to 100% no till. Our yields especially the dryland have significantly increased since switching to no till.”
James - NE Nebraska

“We built a 250,000 bushel grain handling facility in 2014. Along with a marketing firm 20 years ago. This bins are a 2:1 ROI EVERY YEAR! Strip till, and side dressing our N, nitrate sampling, and our crop consultants veris cart all the acres and create management zones. All good stuff. The last two years we have been able to raise 200 bpa corn on less than $100 per acre of fertilizer. VRT seed pop. Saves an avg of 12-15$/acre on seed also.”
Andrew Woytassek - SE North Dakota

“Drainage tile for sure.”
Will Gracely - Marion, OH

“Grain bins/dryer.”
Steve Koeman - Michigan

“Increased business analysis.”
Jeff - Minnesota

“Bulk fuel storage. Annual bidding of fert & chem inputs”
Steve - W Wisconsin

Charley - Ohio

“Grain storage”
Calvin - Manitoba

“Besides tile and grain storage, one of my better investments has been a sprayer allowing me to purchase herbicides at a significant discount to local retailors.”
Brian Schroeder - Western Illinois

“For me it is tiling. It’s the only investment I can say will always provide a positive ROI. ”
Ray Hewitt - Le Sueur, MN

“Grain semi and grain storage. Speeds harvest and spreads workload over year and can market better.”
Ben Ausdemore - Southwest Iowa

“Fertilizer spreader.”
Cory - West central Illinois

“Grain storage hands down.”
Ben Heide - Boissevain, MB

“Pattern Tile”
Bob Lantz - New Palestine, IN

“Self-propelled Sprayer”
Chuck Myers - Nebraska

“Drain Tile”
Matt Conzemius - Breckenridge, MN

“Owning a sprayer/Grain Storage/row clutches”
Brian Ehrich - Missouri

“Micronutrients and soil/tissue testing”
Brad Zimmerman - Central IL

“Improved surface drainage through land shaping”

“Proper drainage”
Andy - West Central Minnesota

“Hagie sprayer”
Matt - Northeast Illinois

“Drip irrigation”
Barry - Hi-of Texas

“Machinery maintenance/grain storage/spraying & spreading chem and fert.”
Scott - SC Minnesota

“Drian tile/dryer/bin system”
Cole Goodwin - Warren, MN

“Semi’s to haul grain and commercial hauling year around.”
Hank - Southeast Nebraska

“Surface drainage”
Colin Penner - Elm Creek, MB

“More grain storage”
Michael - NW Iowa

“Grain dryer and storage”
Brad Stoner - Mount Vernon, Iowa

“Grain storage”
Matt - Ontario

“Drainage tile”
Marc - Central Indiana

“Strip till”
Reg - Minnesota

Sparrow Ag - West central Saskatchewan

“Grain bins”
Jake - Michigan

“Crop scouting and spraying, early purchase of products to capture all discounts”
Robert Matthys - Southwest Minnesota

“20/20 Precision planter monitor”
Bruce - Illinois

“Certifying 400 acres as Organic”
Jason - North Carolina

“Liquid fertilizer storage dyke and steel tanks.”
Adam Kirian - NW Ohio

“Moisture probes”
Trey Weldon - Earth, TX

“Variable rate fertilizer”
Nathan Ashcraft - East Idaho

Rob - NW Minnesota

“Custom planting and harvesting.”
Scott Thiessen - Central Kansas

Larry Thorndyke - Piper City, IL

“Lime. Ph to 6-6.5”
Kenny Graham - Good corner New Brunswick, Canada

Tony Brateng - Roseau, MN

“Storage/dryer bins and crop sprayer for hay and one for grain crops. Also the semi truck has helped with the bins I suppose”
Darryl King - Pennsylvania

“Corn Fungicide”
Brent - NW Ohio

Rick - Indiana

“Trying to get poor land to produce like average land.”
Jeff - Alberta, Canada

“Adding pens”
Justin - Kansas

Gerrett Dobson - Indiana

Corwin - Montana

“Self propelled sprayer”
Mark - SW Iowa

Bill Davis - S Minnesota

“Grain bins or technology. Grain bins help catch the carry and make money drying grain. Also technology adopting variable rate seeding and fertilizing has saved us a ton by making us more efficient.”
Myles Lefler - WC Illinois

Will Dunavan - New Mexico

“Automatic Clutches on soybean planter. 4-5 bags/square 80acres saved”
Nathan Fortkamp - Fort Recovery, Ohio

“Grain storage”
Gene - Fort Ransom ND

“Building a 8row 20in planter”
Andrew Hubenthal - Cass County, Indiana

“Dry fertilizer equipment”
Erik Oberbroeckling - Garnavillo, Iowa

“Drain tile”
Brian - Iowa

Cattle Guy - Iowa

Chris McCormick - Pleasantville, IA

“I would definitely say our grain set up with tower dryer, switching to natural gas and having a lot of grain storage to help us get the best price possible with being able to haul out over winter spring and summer time.”
Jason Hodkiewicz - Lena, WI

“Our own dozer”
Chris - North East Missouri

“Grain Storage ”
Tim Rasmussen - Rothsay, MN

“Grain Storage”
Scott - Iowa

“Doing our own spraying.”
Spencer - North Iowa

“No-Till drill which has let us plant beans earlier”
Spud Armstrong - Rochester, IN

“Self propelled sprayer.”
Paul Harless - Minnesota

“Grain handling system ”
Chris Thompson - Sharon, ND

“Planter with row shutoff”
Jeremy - Illinois

“GPS shutoffs for sprayer”
Matt Gilbert - EC South Dakota

“Sprayer, custom work, fungicide all acres.”
Devon - Iowa

“RTK Surface drainage software and equipment”
Eldon Klippenstein - Altona Manitoba

“Grain storage”
Martin - SE MB

“Drain tile. The entire farm is on 40’ centers”
Paul - Minnesota

“NTexx Soil Innoculant 3/yr avg of 10.2 increased corn production for $8.50/acre investment. It returns over 300%.”
Randy Clydesdale - Northwest Kansas

Grain dryer, bins. Hiring grain marketing.“
Vance - Minnesota

"Grain storage”
Trent Sprunger - Indiana

“Our investment in a dual line up of older used equipment”
Wayne - Ontario

“Multi-Year Profit Mapping”
Michael Steeke - Perham, MN

Jake - MN

“"Grain storage, tile, The best is my pencil!”
Jonathon - Seymour Indiana

“Grain bins”
Tim Foltz - Indiana Vermillion County

“Enormous Propane tank”
Brayden Wagner - Englevale ND

“Drain tile”
Bill Shuler - Michigan

Chris Lancaster - Louisiana

“Grain Drying, storage”
Kenny - North Dakota

“Irrigation Pivots”
Aaron Bobeck - Northern Indiana

“Fertilizer bins, as our local supplier offers a deal to take it in Jan/feb versus them holding it until seeding time.”
Lloyd Drummond - Manitoba

“Pattern drain tile”
Ron - Lyon County Minnesota

3 smaller/older combines to 1 newer and larger combine. Rotary Ditcher. New grain bin expansion"
Matthew - East Grand Forks, MN

“Installing our own drain tile. The tractor we have on the tile plow is an old 4x4 that’s probably only worth $5000.00, so that really helps the ROI.”
Dale Kohls - Litchfield, MN

“The purchases we didn’t make.”
Andrew Galegher - Thompson

“Grain storage”
Adam - Illinois

“Grain bins and a new dryer”
Kevin Tyler - Lansford, ND

“Spraying everything ourselves”
Jeff - Centeral Illinois

“Grain storage”
Dillon - Iowa

“Irrigation system”
Ross - NW Minnesota

“Intellifarms cable systems in my grain bins”
Mark Bezner - Dalhart Tx

“SMS software”
Heath - Illinois

“Doing own spraying”
Eric - Iowa

“Drain tile”
Pete - Manvel, ND

“Grain Storage”
Kirk Berry - Brooklyn Iowa

“Cattle Building”
Chad Schutz - White Hall, IL

“Auto steer for spreading fertilizer”
Dave - Oklahoma

“Tile is the one thing that has always given us a huge ROI and the most related to farming. I believe that sometimes there are other investments in your farm that will add value to your bottom line other than buying high priced land.”
Nathan Engelhard - Michigan

“Precision leveling Fields/ Land Leveling Equipment”
Austin Metheny - Etowah, Arkansas

Ben - Galesburg, North Dakota

“Grain Bin”
Clay Chase - Kentucky

“1. drain tile, 2. grain storage, 3. variable rate planting, 4. variable rate nitrogen application. Not necessarily recent purchases”
Keith A. - EC South Dakota

“Tile equipment and tile.”
Garth Mulkey - Corvallis, Oregon

“Drainage Tile”
Calvin Mohr - EC Illinois

“Complete bin monitoring system that you can look at on your phone any where any time”
Lon Michels - Plentywood, Montana


Zac - Iowa

“Drainage pipe”
John Dovin - Wellington Ohio

“Elevator, Tile drainage, & Precision farming technology”
Mike - Ontario

“zero till, straight cutting, bigger swather, fungicide in crop”
Trent - Alberta

“High clearance Sprayer”
Fred Leibel - Denzil, Saskatchewan

“Grain storage”
Amy Porteus - Ohio

“Ethanol shares”
Lane - Hutchinson Minnesota

“Binning Identity preserved red sorghum”
Adam - Kansas

“Precision Ag Technologies”
Alex - North-east Arkansas

“2400 head hog building.”
Brad Hoover - Algona, Iowa

“Drainage tile”
Josh - Minnesota

“Planter tech, swath control, down force, 2by 2 dry fert with acrruate seed placement”
Paul Dietrich - Ontario

“Drain Tile”
Christian - NW MN

Scott - Vermont

“Balers manure spreader”
John - Minnesota

“Drain Tile hands down,ethanol shares a close second”
Greg Schwarz - LeSueur County Minnesota

“Grain cart”
Eric - Manitoba, Candada

“Grain dryer”
Dave Gillespie - Ontario

“Grain loss measurement pan for our combine”
Trevor Scherman - Battleford, Saskatchewan

“Construction equipment to improve farm ground along with custom work”
Clint - Nebraska

“1. Bulk storage, grain bins, fuel tanks, propane tanks. 2. Drain tile. 3. Planting everything you possible can. Save seed cost and higher quality job the planter does over drill. Less seed cost. Less over lap higher quality seed placement. 4. Generic chemicals”
Philip Hoff - Bowdon North Dakota

“I’d have to say from a cropping standpoint, it’s been a Salford RTS vertical tillage unit. We use in fall for potash incorporation on soy stubble. Cross sorn stalks once in fall. And then hit all corn and soy acres once in spring pre-plant. Huge labour/diesel/time savings vs conventional tillage and get a better seedbed therefore better plant populations than no-till.”
Mark - SE Ontario, Canada

Aaron - Illinois

Jason - Alberta

“Grain bins”
Kirk - Iowa

Gary - Oregon, OH

“Drop pan from ScherGrain”
Robin Grutterink - Alberta Canada

“Investment in incremental technology for our planter. More precise spacing and down pressure results in more consistent stand which leads to increased yields.”
J.R. Peterson - Mitchell Co. Iowa

Scott - Iowa

Paul - Radville

“Purchasing our own tile plow”
Brandon Strutzenberg - Calhoun County, IA

“Seed cleaning plant and treater”
Jeff - Hamilton Ontario

“hay equipment”
Greg Miller - Freeport, Illinois.

“Well,a second wheel for our water wheel vegetable planter. We put two on one and now do the same number and more plants a day with less ppl. We had purchased a second planter the year before which added three more ppl. With help hard to find,it didnt run everyday.”
Wade Pregitzer - Mid. Michigan

“Pull type sprayer”
Ryan Vavroch - Iowa

“Grain Facility”
Brad - Southwest, Wisconsin

“Individual row shut-offs on the planter”
Mark Carrothers - Southwestern Ontario

“Efficient tower dryer”
Steven Stoner - Shannon, IL

Dawson Farms - Decatur, IL

“Seeding and actually doing the fertilizer application”
Hansen - NC Montana

“Self propelled sprayer”
Kevin - Eastern Kansas

Dan - Missouri

“Slurry management”
Daniele - Lombardia, Italy

“Marketing Plan & Drainage Tile”
Jon - West Central Indiana

“Grain storage”
Tim Tillotson - Alberta, Canada

“Precision v drive”
Gary - Wisconsin

Bob - Illinois

“Sprayer & Yield monitor”
Mike - Ohio

“Grain storage”
Jason - NC South Dakota

“Tile and grain bins”
Matt - Iowa

“Planter row shut offs”
John schreiter - Nebraska City, NE

“Self Propelled Sprayer”
Jeff Leerar - NC Iowa

“Delta force on the planter and owning my own Nh3 applicator.”
Dave Nelson - NC Iowa

“Tile/Strip TIll”
Colten Schafersman - Hooper, NE

“Drain Tile”
Greg Birchler - Southwest Illinois

“Grazing program”
Kirt Espenson

“Early planting”
Joshua Miller - Tamms, IL

“Fertilizer ”
Leith - Illinois

“Grain Bins”
Taylor - Eastern Montana

“Backgrounding cattle, we are buying a no-till drill this winter and I hope that to return in multiple ways.”
Colby - Goshen County, Wyoming

Brady - Emerson, IA

Lee Gracely - Marion, Ohio


“Tile Plow/Tiling/Starter Fertilizer”
Dakota Lueken - NE IOWA

“Drying setup”
Brad Darling - Northeast Iowa

“Drain Tile”
Justin - Michigan

“Harvest Profit & Sugarcane”
Z & K Farms LLC - Cameron County

“Drain tile and Edible Bean storage”
Chad Thorson - Northern RRV

“Drain Tile”
Samuel - Ohio

“Building levels of phosphorus and potassium in my soils”
Arne Harstad - Wilmost, SD

“Grain Truck”
Eric Zempel - Morgan, MN

Greg Mager - Indiana

“Growing crop for seed as opposed to commodity”
Samuel Prim - SE Alabama

“Purchased 800k grain storage facility from an old seed company for $1/bu and currently rent out the excess storage we don’t need to the local elevator which is located on the same section as our site. In two more years the elevator rent will have completely paid off our entire site loan.”
Scott Field - Stephen, MN

Chris - Iowa

“Grain system”
Kevin Ross - Ontario

Mitch Rezansoff - Manitoba

“Grain bins”
Paul Johnson - Hallock MN

Justin - Indiana

“Planting beans in April”
Michael - Kentucky

“Track tractor”
Steve Marshman - Rockyford, AB

“New Great Plains air seeder”
Peterson - Central Kansas

“Drain Tile, Surface Water Drainage, Grain Storage & Grain Handling”
Ryan Ottis - Kindred, ND

“Updating to a higher capacity, more efficient grain dryer.”
David Lash - NC Indiana

Steve K - Atkinson, IL

“Drain tile”
Kurr - Illinois

“Hire an accountant”
Gary A Meiners - Minnesota

Only a couple Harvest Profit mentions…we have work to do!!

If you’re a farmer who priorizes profitability, give our software a spin by signing up for a free trial below.

As famed manager Peter Drucker often said, “What gets measured gets improved.”!

Nick Horob

Nick Horob

Passionate about farm finances, software, and assets that produce cash flow (oil wells/farmland/rentals). U of MN grad.

Fargo, ND
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