Whiskey Creek Farms
Whiskey Creek Farms grows row crops on thousands of acres in Iowa, South Dakota and Arkansas. These crops are an essential part of our commonsense, vertically integrated approach to farming.
This is what vertical integration looks like at Whiskey Creek Farms:
- Our crops feed the cattle on our feedlot. Our cattle are transported to the meat packer by our own trucks, which are maintained by in-house mechanics.
- Our cattle provide fertilizer for our crops – which are cultivated, harvested and transported with our own equipment, which is maintained by our mechanics.
- Crops are covered by Whiskey Creek Insurance policies, enabling us to manage our own risk.
- Elevators and storage facilities at all of our sites allow us to store grain for use at our feedlot. The grain is also available for sale on the market or to help partners meet short-term needs.
- Some of our corn is sold to ethanol plants, which then supply us with corn co-products for use as feed. We are invested in regional ethanol plants to support the industry and achieve greater business diversification.
Whiskey Creek’s pragmatic philosophy also applies to our use of technology. Although we don’t adopt farming technology for technology’s sake, we readily use proven tools, such as GPS guidance systems and auto-steering technology in our tractors. These systems reduce driver fatigue, help operators hold straight lines in the field and eliminate skips and overlap, making the work more efficient.
In Iowa and South Dakota, 80 percent of our crop production is corn, which is mainly used as feed for our cattle. The other 20 percent is planted in soybeans, for rotation purposes. Soil quality is preserved through the use of cover crops, nutrient management, and no-till practices.
In Arkansas, roughly half of our crops are corn and the other half soybeans and wheat. The corn and wheat are sold to feedmills for use as chicken feed, while the beans supply local processors. Some of the harvest also goes to grain dealers for sale on the export market.
In years when our corn production exceeds the food needs of our feedlot herds, Whiskey Creek Farms supplies corn to local ethanol plants for use as a fuel or fuel additive. Our relationships with these ethanol plants also enable us to buy back their corn co-products for use in our livestock feed.
Partnerships like these make good sense from a business and an environmental standpoint by eliminating waste in the production cycle.
With operations in three states, Whiskey Creek has a greater level of geographic diversity than most family-owned farms. This diversity gives us consistent production despite adverse weather conditions in one place or another. Farming in Arkansas also extends the growing season and allows us to raise double crops.
In addition to farming in multiple states, we farm in different soil types – clay, silt and loam – and on different types of terrain – flat and hilly, irrigated and non-irrigated. By having equipment for different types of terrain and the ability to farm in all conditions, we gain an uncommon amount of versatility and flexibility.