Farmers are dealt a hand of cards each year. There are cards of fortune and cards of misfortune. Maybe it’s a wet spring or corn prices below $4/bu or skyrocketing fertilizer costs. Maybe you get all three in the same hand.
A farmer can’t always choose what they’re dealt, but they can choose how to respond.
“Every year there will be in the order of $700 million (in Manitoba) put on the table in fertilizer dollars with farmers hoping to make that money back and more,” explains John Heard, one of the dealers at the 4R Nutrient Casino hosted at CropConnect ’16.
“This is the only casino around where if everybody plays their cards right, they can win,” explains his colleague Don Flaten, giving away one of the house secrets, in the interview below. “Farming is always a gamble, but some practices increase your odds of winning.”
The way their casino works, guests are dealt a set of cards that outlines what they have to work with, including soil type, soil test results, a nutrient recommendation, type of seeding equipment and tillage system. There are also wild cards, such as inclement weather, that can force players to change their strategies.
“They have to figure out the best fertilizer plan for their N, P, K, S application based on that scenario,” notes casino floor boss Marla Riekman.
Curious about this gambling venture and the possibility of taking home some winnings? The 4R Nutrient Casino hosts stopped by RealAgriculture’s booth at CropConnect in Winnipeg last month: