Like many, Lawrence grew up around farming, helping and learning from his dad and grandpa who farmed a couple of thousand acres. After college, Lawrence joined the ranks of corporate America and longed for the day he would make it back to his roots. That opportunity was presented in 2017 when he leased his first farm.
“If you’ve grown up around farming, it’s all you ever want to do. We’re a corn-soybean operation, mostly in Indiana with some acres on the Illinois side. My wife helps manage the family farm since we’re 50/50 with family members on the family-owned ground,” he says, and you can hear the pride and accomplishment in his words.
With eight, eleven, and three-year-old “helpers”, the Lawrence family was already in the thick of adjustment of farming full-time when Seth’s dad unexpectedly passed nearly 11 months ago. The ripple of the loss of the farm’s patriarch is still being felt not only in the loss of knowledge and assurance that a dad bestows but also in manpower. Today, Lawrence manages the family farm by himself, along with the leased acres and custom harvest ground that comprise most of his operation.
“Honestly, if I had to point to something that helped me get my start with my own leased farms, I would point to precision ag,” Lawrence says. “Along with a decent cash rent, providing data and insights that a landlord can see and make sense of is low-hanging fruit. Taranis is the top layer of that. I farm for some investment-type institutions and as we talked about Taranis, it was really a wide-eye moment for them to realize the type of visibility they would have of the farm. I offered access to my user account so they could log in and see as much as they wanted. They love it.”
Lawrence also uses insights to check boxes throughout the year, determining what works, what doesn’t, and where his threats lie.
“Last summer, looking in at the corn from the cab of the 4430, I know we are lucky. We’ve got good soil, we had good weather conditions, and we can produce good crops. But I know that I’m missing things. I have a dual role, I work full time off the farm and always have, and I know that I’m missing things that I wouldn’t if I was able to scout as often as I need to. What is that costing me…10, 20, 30 bushels?”