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CropTalk: A Production Update with Jason Morehouse

August 2021

Published on Sunday, August 1, 2021

The Beck’s Mission Statement is: to provide our customers with the best in seed quality, field performance, and service. I find this mission statement to be evident within the production team, from the passion and dedication Jason spoke with about Beck’s production department during this interview.

BIGGEST CHALLENGES TO OVERCOME THIS GROWING SEASON?

So far, the biggest story has been the cool conditions we faced this spring. We were able to get the corn planted in good conditions; planting the second corn inbred might not have been in the most favorable conditions ‑— variable emergences and reduced stands can occur in these situations. Delayed planting of an inbred may be as much as 200 heat units after planting of the first inbred. In cool weather situations, this planting gap can be up to three weeks to accumulate the heat units. This was our most widespread challenge this year. Our Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, facility experienced a lot of rain this year. That was more of a regional-specific challenge ‑— too cool and too wet. Overall, we were able to get everything planted on schedule,in a reasonable, timely manner. Stands established of the seed corn crop are good.

MOST IMPORTANT STAGE OF THE GROWING SEASON FOR YOUR DEPARTMENT?

Fundamentally, detasseling season. In production, this is the pollination season. Getting the male pollen to the female silk is vital during this time. Mother Nature controls so much of this process. Removing female inbred tassels is the productions team’s focus.

WHAT FUTURE FOCUSES DO YOU HAVE FOR PRODUCTION?

Data management of our information ‑— what is our source of truth? Understanding: 1). What did we intend to do in the field 2). What happened in the field, and 3). The outcome – why was it the same as or different from what we predicted. We need to take data management from the field level to an insight to improve decisions. Our team is very systems-minded. Our systems are important for speed, scalability, and quality of our decisions.

EXPLAIN TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENTS THAT HAVE HELPED PRODUCTION.

More growers have been adopting high-speed planting technologies. This has led to improved quality of stand establishment, a better standard deviation of singulation in the field. Speed has been a secondary reason for implementing high-speed planters. Electronic control of populations and seeding rates have benefited us as well. If we need to put in male populations and female populations at different planting populations, electronic drive meter systems have helped us fine-tune those desired rates.

 

 

MOST REWARDING PART ABOUT BEING INVOLVED IN PRODUCTION?

I enjoy working with the teams, growers, and leaders involved in the production process. The quality of people and the care they demonstrate for the Beck’s products and processes is high. The level of engagement of producing quality seed is also high ‑— doing it well and producing a quality product.

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO IN THE SEASONS TO COME?

I am excited to see autonomous field equipment. In production specifically, more sterile inbreds. Witnessing younger leaders take on the challenges of the industry and move the ball forward at Beck’s on their journey of personal growth and development is another thing I am looking forward to.

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Deatra Gremaux
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Deatra Gremaux

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