Farmers should be asking themselves two important questions as they finalize crop budgets for the 2016 growing season, according to Brian Hefty, an agronomist and co-host of AgPhd TV and radio shows.

The first is, "What is the yield-limiting factor on each acre of your land?" The second: "Is it profitable to eliminate that issue?"

And Hefty, who also farms with his brother in South Dakota, doesn’t let people cop out and blame the weather. "Lack of water is likely not your yield-limiting factor on all of your acres," he says. "It is on maybe 10 percent of your acres. The other 90 percent — that’s on you."

The real limiting factors are usually weeds, insects, fertility and diseases — all of which can be corrected with good management, he told corn and soybean growers during a presentation at the Commodity Classic in New Orleans recently.

It’s important to measure the...