He says by late April the corn, wheat and soybeans all looked good.

Williams says they are trying reduced tillage systems. “Success has a lot to do with the year,” he says. “But it can be hard to no-till in Northeast Texas. If we get it right in the fall, it works well. Timing with glyphosate application is the key. If we put it out when the soil is dry, we have minimal compaction. If we apply it when it’s wet, we have compaction all year.”

They say global positioning system technology is improving efficiency. “We got an auto-steer unit this year,” Williams says.

“The initial cost hurts,” Gardner adds, “but we can spray a lot more in a day.”

“We’ve used mapping instead of foam markers for several years,” Williams says. Auto-steer is a step up.

“I don’t know if we run faster because of the GPS or because we have a longer boom, but we’re doing more in a day,” Gardner says. “And we have reduced overlap significantly. It pretty much pays for itself.”

“With the Outback auto-steer, compared to the overlap we got with mapping or foam markers, we’re saving fertilizer,” Williams adds. “With the high cost of fertilizer, that adds up.”

He says if he has a good year, he may consider adding auto-steer to the planter.

Meanwhile, he’s watching his wheat crop finish up and preparing for what he hopes to be a bountiful harvest within the next month. But he’s not making any predictions.