Craig and Amy Good’s Farm is located in Pottawatomie County, Kansas, near Olsburg. They have a diversified farming operation that includes pure bred Angus cattle, Duroc and Gloucestershire Old Spot hogs plus corn, soybeans and wheat. Jim Shroyer visits with Craig and we learn how, as a young man from the city, he got started in farming; what led him to raise Angus cattle; why he chose Durocs and Old Spots for his hog operation and how he markets them coast to coast. Stay tuned.
(Jim) Good morning and welcome to That’s My Farm. I’m Jim Shroyer your host and we’re in Pottawatomie County near Olsburg, Kansas on the Craig and Amy Good Farm. And here they’ve done things a little bit different. They’re basically a nitch operation that have integrated pigs, cattle, and row crops. So, stay with us, we’ll be right back.
Closed Captioning Brought to you by the Kansas Soybean Commission, the Soybean Checkoff, Progress Powered by Kansas Farmers.
(Jim) Good morning folks, welcome to That’s My Farm. I’m Jim Shroyer your host and we’re in luck because we’re in Pottawatomie County near the booming metropolis of Olsburg. And we happen to have Craig Good of Craig and Amy Good Farms with us this morning. And Craig, thanks for joining the show with us this morning and you’ve got a great operation here, nice late summer, early fall day. So, tell us a little bit about your operation- how you got started, and kind of where you’re headed. (Craig) Jim, we’re glad that you’re here. We grew up near Manhattan. My family actually didn’t farm. My father was in the Animal Science Department at Kansas State University. But I had a strong interest in agriculture particularly animal agriculture. In 1961, my father started a pure bred Angus herd, which we continue to this day selling pure bred Angus breeding stock. Upon graduation from Kansas State University in 1975 with an Animal Science Degree, I worked for another producer that sold pure bred breeding stock of Durocs and Yorkshires. And I developed a strong interest in the hog business at that time. So in 1981 Amy and I had a chance to come up to our farm here that we’ve had since the 60’s. (Jim) Right. (Craig) And we started a pure bred, seed stock sales and diversified farming operation with cattle, pure bred cattle, as well as the cropping industry, the side of it as well. And we continue that today. (Jim) You’re up here in these hills and this ground up here is a little tough, too wet in the morning and too dry in the afternoon. So you have to farm it over lunch hour pretty much. You’ve gone from a regular till conventional tillings to no till. You’ve been in no till for over 20 years now. (Craig) Yeah Jim, our first no till experience was back in 1984 and the reason I did it was because I was sick and tired of working the ground and it was either too wet or too dry, like you say. And then after I would plant, back then a neighbor had a 4-row Lister that he listed my milo in and as you know you throw up a ridge and… (Jim) Oh ya. (Craig) And we’d get about a three inch rain right afterwards and it would all come down into the row cover the milo up too deep and we would have to be replanting. And after replanting, and replanting and watching what little top soil that we do have go down the terrace channel and out the outlets, I decided we had to do something different. So that’s when we had a neighbor that had a no till planter and we started, actually we sprayed out some alfalfa ground and no tilled milo into alfalfa. (Jim) And that worked pretty well for you. And you’ve been there ever since. (Craig) And overall it’s been a very positive experience. (Jim) But you’re kind of a… this isn’t an insult, but you’re kind of a throw back. We’ve come from an age, grandparents, way back when, the farm was integrated, you had crops, you had livestock, all sorts of livestock, and then we went into either you were either growing crops or you’re growing livestock. But you’ve kind of got the whole thing. So, you’re basically… I know you sell some of your crops, but a lot of your crops go into the animals. (Craig) Yeah, we sell… the only thing that we sell as far as crop production is soybeans. We turn right around and haul back… we sell our beans and bring back either bean meal or grain. And so, I feel like…Dad always was big into this, how a crop and livestock operation. There is a certain over the years, back in his generation, event before that where there is a real synergy in a symbiotic relationship between the crops and the livestock. Because the livestock produce a by product that can go onto the fields. And then the fields produce something for the animals feed. (Jim) That by product being manure. (Craig) Right. (Jim) That’s the best fertilizer out there. (Craig) There you go. (Jim) Well hey, don’t go away Craig and you folks at home, don’t go away, we’ll be right back after these words.
(Jim) Welcome back folks to That’s My Farm. I’m Jim Shroyer, the host. And with us we have Craig Good, up by Olsburg. And Craig, we were talking a bit ago about the whole integrated operation and I think it’s really interesting about the pig or swine operation. So, you were doing well for a long time, so what happened? (Craig) Jim, we were in the breeding stock business and selling boars and gilts and we were selling over 200 boars a year. (Jim) Right. (Craig) And ’98-’99 if anyone was around then in the pig industry very… (Jim) It tanked. (Craig) Cataclysmic occurrence. Ten cents a pound, depression type things. We lost lots of producers. And that’s when really this industry started to congregate into larger operations after that especially. But anyway, we could see that we either… we’re gonna have to get out or we need to find some way… because most of my clients people that bought breeding stock from us…. (Jim) Were out of business. (Craig) Were out of business, right. (Jim) So, what happened? (Craig) So, we went… we wanted to stay raising pigs, we didn’t want to get big. We could have gotten big and tried to compete that way. (Jim) Right. (Craig) But we chose… we went to the Ag Innovation Center at K-State, Dr. Vincent Amanor-Boadu. And he was working with a start up company from New York City, called Heritage Feeds USA. And he connected us with them. (Jim) Uh huh. (Craig) And we started with them on a very small way. They were just getting started. Their purpose was to try to save smaller family farms. And to also…they wanted to preserve some of the rare breeds, or some of the pure breeds of livestock. (Jim) Right. (Craig) Because they could see that was something that was going to go by the way side with the… by the larger units that used more hybrid lines and this type of thing. (Jim) Right. (Craig) And so, with the… they were able to pay us a premium for raising pure bred hogs. And we switched to selecting strongly for meat quality, for eating quality and for palatability. And now the pork goes, that we raise, and some of our beef also to primarily the restaurant trade on the east coast and also the west coast, the Napa Valley, San Francisco, Los Angeles area. (Jim) So, basically you’ve gone to both coasts then? (Craig) Yes. (Jim) OK. So not only did they want to preserve, but they wanted to get a little connection with the consumer right? (Craig) Absolutely. I think that’s a great point Jim. I think through the years as fewer and fewer people are on the farm, I think it’s really important that those of us that are in agriculture try to stay in contact with the people that… (Jim) Well, you want to be ambassadors. (Craig) Exactly. We want to show people that we’re not out here trying to abuse the land and abuse our animals just to make a living. (Jim) Craig, hang on here a second, we’ve got a word from our messages here. (Craig) OK. Good. (Jim) Folks, stay right where you are. We’ll be right back.
(Jim) Welcome back folks to That’s My Farm, I’m Jim Shroyer. And we’re in luck because we’re on the Craig and Amy Good Farm near Olsburg, Kansas. And they have gone a little bit different in that they’re not the big corporate farm, they have kind of a nitch operation of livestock and crops and they put them together and they’re making it work. Craig, as I’m looking at the hog lot here, I see Durocs and see some Old Spots. So, tell me a little bit about those Spots compared to the Durocs. (Craig) Well Jim, we started the Spots, wasn’t my original intent, but people at Heritage Foods, part of their mission like I said earlier, was to save some of the more rare breeds of livestock, farm animals that have gone by the way side. And I had an opportunity to buy some Old Spots from a man, that was back after the late ’90s and early 2000’s, couldn’t afford to feed ’em anymore. And I was able to go to Ohio and after a lot of health checks and so forth, we purchased his entire herd of Old Spots. They’re Gloucestershire Old Spots. They come from England originally. Originated in England. They have quite a bit of back fat and they don’t have as much muscle as the modern breeds of pigs. But the meat quality and the quality and eating ability of the pork is extremely good. (Jim) OK, great, great. And of course everybody likes Durocs as well though. They’re bred more for muscle. (Craig) Yes, they are. They’re a very good breed. And we’ve selected lines that are strong and meat quality, palatability and good eating quality. So, they’re good in that respect. But the Old Spots are just a little different. And you know they like to preserve the old breeds. Who knows, down the road, some… (Jim) Some genes in those old… (Craig) There may be a gene. As a matter of fact, we’re doing a little thing with some pancreas with a company that may think that some of these old heritage breeds of livestock may have a better pancreas for doing some genetic work in maybe using it even in humans. (Jim) Diabetes. (Craig) To work with diabetes. Exactly. (Jim) Folks, we’ll be right back after these messages, words from our sponsor. So, don’t go away.
(Jim) Folks welcome back to That’s My Farm. I’m Jim Shroyer, your host. We have Craig Good with us here from Olsburg, Kansas. And you know we talked about pigs a while ago and I know you’ve got some crops. You know the soybeans aren’t looking half bad. You know that rain a week or so ago sure helped out, so how do soybeans fit into your operation. (Craig) Well Jim, they’ve been… basically we use in our no till situation we we never have crops, the same crop two years in a row. (Jim) Right. (Craig) I say never, but rarely. (Jim) Never say never, right? (Craig) Never say never. So, we’re in a corn, soybean and we use wheat occasionally. We start to get some weed pressure, we see we need to break up we’ll come in wheat. But the soybeans fit in quite nicely. It’s the only cash crop beside the pigs and the cows, cattle that we have. And so we use this and the beans and I’ve already got some of the crops sold for this coming fall. And we’ll take those to market. And then I use the proceeds from that to buy back corn or grain sorghum for the cows. (Jim) And soybean meal. (Craig) Right or bean meal. (Jim) Well, you know these are actually looking pretty good. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised you’re gonna be well in to 40 bushels in here. (Craig) I would hope that it would make somewhere in there. I have learned not to predict. (Jim) Yeah. (Craig) I kind of wait til after it’s weighed, but they appear like it. (Jim) So, let’s talk a little bit about… let’s talk a little bit about it. So, you’re gonna be planting this after corn or grain sorghum, no till. So, what seeding rate do you shoot for and that sort of thing? (Craig) Well, on the soybeans we’re roughly about a.. we try to drop somewhere around 140,000 beans per acre. (Jim) Per acre. Right. (Craig) And on our corn, which we’ll talk about later on typically drop somewhere in the 25,000 to 26,000 seeds, But you know we’ve been, a lot of times we’ll do 10 inch rows, or 14 inch rows with a drill. We’ll plug every other row. (Jim) Your beans. Yeah. (Craig) But this year, actually we planted in 30 inch rows. (Jim) I see that. (Craig) I feel like my seed placement with my planter is a little bit superior to using with a drill and so that’s the reason I’ve kind of gone back to 30 inch rows because my seed placement is a little easier to get real good stand, I think, with a planter. (Jim) Right. That’s really important. I know, so I see a weed or two. I’m not trying to be critical. But I’m looking at some escapes that are herbicide resistant weeds. So, weed control a big issue this year? (Craig) Weed control’s been tough. It really has. Probably the toughest year I’ve had with soybeans. And I think a lot of it’s due to palmer amaranth, some of the resistant herbicide resistant weeds that we’re getting out here and I sprayed these beans. We’ve put in a good effort here but sometimes it doesn’t work. And also sometimes the beans I think as they get a little bigger, some of the weeds are under the canopy and they don’t get… the target is too small. (Jim) Right, right. Well, I tell you what we’re getting the high sign. We need to take a break and go have a word from our sponsors. But we’ve got some other crops and other parts of the operation to look at so folks, we’ll be right back. Don’t go away, after these words from our sponsors.
(Jim) Welcome back to That’s My Farm. We’re in Pottawatomie County near Olsburg on the Craig Good Farm. And Craig we’re standing obviously in a patch of corn here. So, tell us how you got to this point. (Craig) Jim, this is actually this is our first year we’ve planted a drought guard hybrid. (Jim) How do you like it? (Craig) I think it stood up well this year. It had some stress this year. But it had some good times. It went from feast or famine. (Jim) Right, right. (Craig) And our weed control was pretty good in the corn. We used half a rate of Bicep Pre-plant. Not Bicep, but it used to be that. Decree Extra for broadleaf and grass control and then once in crop, with Roundup. We also have a little bit of problem with some mare’s tail, so we used a new herbicide called Sharpen. It’s got some new technology and it takes care of that pretty well. So we were pretty happy. (Jim) Cause mare’s tails starting to get a little tough. (Craig) Yeah, Mare’s Tails tough. Especially late pre-plant. You don’t want to use a Dicamba, or 2,4-D as far as your germination problem right close to planting. So Sharpen works pretty well for that forage. (Jim) So, tell me a little bit about your fertility program for your corn. (Craig) OK. Because we aren’t real big, some of my technology for fertilizer application is not maybe as good as I’d like it. We put on an early broadcast of ammonium nitrate and phosphorus. About 130 pounds of ammonium nitrate. I take that back, the phosphorus we put on with the planter and we put on about 30 pounds of phosphorus with the planter at planting time. But that’s all it’s had is about 130 pounds of pre-plant ammonium nitrate and then whatever those eight or nine pounds or something like that in the phosphorus with the phosphorus at planting time. (Jim) Any of this get manure from your hogs? (Craig) Exactly. This also had… now we don’t have enough manure to do all the acres. But this particular spot did not get any manure this year, but it did several years ago. (Jim) Right, OK. (Craig) So, we get in a rotation thing. We don’t just try to manure the whole thing. It’s basically more manure, we compost our manure, so it’s more just a compost. (Jim) Right, OK. Craig, I tell you what, I appreciate you taking time to talk with us. And you folks at home I hope you’ll be joining us next week on another version of That’s My Farm.
Closed Captioning Brought to you by the Kansas Soybean Commission the Soybean Checkoff Progress Powered by Kansas Farmers.