South Dakota State University researchers are developing and field-testing for continuously variable-rate corn seeding prescriptions. The algorithm is based on five-year yield and rainfall data to map high and low average fields, and high and low yield variability for a field. It also takes into account seed costs, crop value, hybrid and other production factors such as expected rainfall.
Keith Alverson and his family started to variable-rate plant in the 1990s, and now find benefit with the practice on every corn acre. He, his father Ron and uncle grow corn and soybeans on rolling land near Chester, S.D. In the early 1990s, they started reducing seeding rates manually in the dry corners of pivot-irrigated fields, where yield potential is always much lower. The practice cut seed costs by 25% in unwatered sections, and was especially beneficial in dry years, Alverson says....More
If corn breeders wanted to put their drought-tolerant hybrids to the acid test, 2012 was the year to do it. The record-breaking drought, coupled with extreme heat, presented a worst-case scenario for new drought-tolerant, water-optimized products from DuPont Pioneer, Monsanto and Syngenta. All three have more drought-tolerant hybrids available for 2013....More
Hybrid selection is one of the most important management decisions a corn grower makes each year. It’s a decision that warrants a careful comparison of performance data. It should not be made in haste or based on limited data. Planting a marginal hybrid, or one not suitable for a particular production environment, imposes a ceiling on the yield potential of a field before it has been planted....More
University field trials show that hybrid selection is the number one factor in determining yield. Four years of yield data from the University of Minnesota illustrate the impact hybrid selection has on a corn grower’s bottom line....More
Although it’s too early to determine how early planted cornfields will respond to recent weather, the effects of the low temperatures on corn survival will probably be negligible for the most part. In past years, we have observed that early planted corn that was in the process of germinating or as far along as the V1 stage (one leaf collar visible) survived freezing soil temperatures in April with little impact on crop performance or plant stand....More
Monica Patterson, senior marketing manager, technology launch at Pioneer, talks about Pioneers efforts in bringing drought-tolerant traits to the marketplace and the new Optimum AQUAmax option available from Pioneer for 2012....More
Minnesota farmer Gene Stengel and his sons Kevin and Rob will plant a 20% insect refuge this spring, as usual. Although “refuge-in-the-bag” blends of Bt and non-Bt seeds are proving popular with farmers – and could predominate in coming years – many growers will still plant structured non-Bt refuges in 2012....More
Sometimes Mother Nature is like the Joker. That’s evident from the 2011 growing season. Hopefully your hybrid choice is like Batman. From trait options to staygreen to stalk strength to pest and disease resistance, hybrids can bring an arsenal of tools to combat most enemies. Corn & Soybean Digest has compiled a list of top hybrids from top companies. Use it as a starting point for selecting hybrids for next year. Be sure to also consider university, independent and company trial data when making your decisions....More
Bags of corn seed that mix biotech hybrids with and without Bt toxins that kill insects provide farmers easier compliance with federal regulations but could, over time, hasten insect resistance to Bt, says Christian Krupke, a Purdue University entomologist....More
Soil conditions in Illinois are among the best ever seen during the first week of April, says University of Illinois Extension Agronomist Emerson Nafziger. But the question remains: Should we plant corn early when the soil is still cold?...More
Corn response to population is continuously changing with seeding rates increasing about 280 plants/acre/year according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (2010). Plant populations in Ohio have increased 16% in the past 10 yrs (56% since the early 1970s). According to NASS, plant population for corn in Ohio averaged 28,200 plants/acre in 2010, which is lower than most Corn Belt states (e.g., Minnesota, 29,900; Iowa, 29,950; Illinois, 29,650; Indiana, 28,350 plants/acre)....More
If Clare Kurz, farmer at Palmer, NE, isn’t building or modifying something, he’s probably thinking about it. The ideas abound, small and big: from foam-filled planter tires that eliminate stalk-puncture problems as they roll over stalk stubble in his strip-tillage, to special wagons he built for hauling grain, to the computerized grain-handling system featured in a farm magazine article several years ago. It includes a 140-ft. elevator leg that he designed and built....More
The hero of agriculture this year was the growing season. Most areas had exceptional weather, perfectly timed moisture and wonderful growing conditions. After last year’s drawn-out harvest, many farmers had the opportunity to start harvest on time this year, if not early. And now that the 2010 crop is out of the field, it’s time to look to 2011. Let your hybrid choice be the hero of next season....More
Although results of the 2010 Ohio Corn Performance Trials (and those of neighboring states) have yet to be published, many growers are already making decisions about hybrids to plant in 2011. Hybrid selection is one of the most important management decisions a corn grower makes each year. It's a decision that warrants careful a comparison of performance data. It should not be made in haste or based on limited data.