Randy Dowdy and David Hula, world record holders for corn and soybean yields, announced their nationwide farming program’s rebrand to Total Acre.
Formerly called Next Level, Total Acre is a 3-year program where growers learn from 2 of the most successful farmers in the world. The program is in its 5th year and is aimed at helping farmers achieve higher yields and enhanced ROI.
“We’re still the same Christ-centered organization that makes positive differences in farmers’ lives by paying forward the sharing of information and best practices,” said Randy Dowdy, Total Acre co-founder and partner. “But after using the Next Level name for 5 years, it was time for a refresh.”
The Total Acre program maintains an independent and unbiased viewpoint while teaching farmers the critical thinking skills necessary to help them raise every acre. Each Total Acre grower benefits from four 2-day farm camps yearly, access to a proprietary software system customized to the Total Acre program and a community of other growers to support them beyond the program.
“Our program will always be focused on farmers helping farmers: we’ve just evolved the brand to support our community,” said David Hula, Total Acre co-founder and partner. “A lot of people think the goal of Total Acre is for everyone to be raising 500-bushel corn. In reality, our goal is to use the software and the information it collects to help growers set achievable targets and maximize their ROI."
Total Acre growers include nearly 500 “Early Adopters and Innovators” in 30 states, 3 Canadian provinces and South Africa.
During camps, growers are given direct access to Dowdy, Hula and the community of Total Acre members in the area. Camps are hosted on member farms to ensure an unbiased approach.
“In addition to the name change, we've also made changes to ensure our camps are hosted by farmers,” said Randy Siever, Total Acre partner. “We're agnostic on where our members buy products: we're just trying to give farmers a place to learn, share with each other, and hear from Dowdy and Hula. It's an incredible community, and the results have been tremendous."
The camps meet four times each year. In November/December, the focus is on a recap of the previous year and year-end planning. In January/February, all of the growers come together for a clinic with in-field demonstrations, a release of the updated roadmap, and a full-day data review. Two times during the growing season, Dowdy and Hula visit Total Acre farms across the country to walk fields, answer questions, and teach through hands-on demonstrations.
Another key benefit of Total Acre memberships is access to the proprietary yield management software. Each Total Acre grower has free access to a web tool that helps with all aspects of the program, from creating VRT maps based on soil samples to recommendations from tissue sample to input trial results. Everything is based on the results of thousands of growing seasons, along with a foundation based on Dowdy and Hula’s high-yield recommendations.
“The neat part of the system is the data and information comes directly from our growers,” Hula said, “It is not created by anyone else.”