Local Farmer Discusses Challenges of 2020 during Fall Harvest

Local Farmer Discusses Challenges of 2020 during Fall Harvest
Logan Govier of Broken Bow sits in the combine for soybean harvest earlier this month

BROKEN BOW—Fifth generation farmer Logan Govier was born and raised in Custer County and continues the tradition of growing corn and soybeans, but also looks to expand into some other markets. Earlier this month KCNI/KBBN sat in the combine with Govier to talk about the challenges of 2020 and how they have impacted fall harvest.

Early snowfall, dry conditions, hail, and high winds created some obstacles but as for COVID-19, Govier said recommendations to social distance were never an issue for the operation north of Broken Bow.

“It’s just been strange with the whole COVID-19 business and I think it hasn’t probably affected those in the ag community quite as much because we’re basically used to sitting in a tractor by ourselves so we already quarantine I guess,” Govier laughed.

He said it poses a conundrum for ag producers anytime there are major fluctuations of commodity and input prices. However, he has been pleased with the current soybean prices.

“It’s one thing to be focused on top-end yields but you still need to be profitable doing it and I think you can be profitable without shooting for the moon and throwing the kitchen sink at things. As long as you’re profitable that’s the main thing so you can continue year to year. If you put more inputs in and you shoot for those top-end yields you’re also adding a lot more risk and right now it feels to me like having less risk is a positive thing the way the current ag economy is. You know, it doesn’t look too bad right now but if you forward contract it, it’s pretty easy to miss out on these great soybean prices at least that we’re having right now,” Govier said.

The Govier Farms mostly produce corn and soybeans but Logan said he and his brother Clay have been trying to expand into other markets such as yellow field peas and raising some of their own cover crop seed.

“This coming year we’ve decided to get some more equipment that we possibly can start looking at edible beans again, we’ve raised them in the past. We just want to diversify a little bit more beyond the norm of this area,” Logan said.

He added that even though the market changes year to year, they hope to focus on soil health, diversify, and expand their horizons to hopefully be more profitable and reduce risk.

“We used to conventional till everything and we’ve had years where that would have been better for the yield but I think for the soil health not tilling it up and having something growing in it as much of the year as possible—those are some of the key factors for soil health and we’re really trying to focus on more of that now,” he said. Click here for the August 2019 story “Govier Brothers Farmer to Farmer Meeting Focuses on Regenerative Practices.”

As for being a fifth generation family farmer, Logan said it is important to him to continue the tradition but also looks forward to future changes.

“It’s important to me. I guess I like being part of the ownership of the land and how we’ve developed things. We have maybe a little bit different train of thought as far as how we’re doing things,” Govier said.

Following harvest, Logan, Clay, their dad Frank, and the rest of the operation plan to continue closing pivot tracks, fix ditches, and prepare for cover crops.

Logan lives on the farm north of Broken Bow with his wife Becky and their four kids.