Apr 1, 2017
As planting gets underway, we need to remember the importance of seeding depth. Planting too deep or too shallow can have an impact on stand establishment and uniformity. Uneven plant emergence can result in plant-to-plant variation and, in certain instances, can impact final grain yield. Soil conditions should be watched closely as these changes will dictate how seeding depth should be adjusted.
It is the dawn of a new season and new opportunity! Before heading to the fields this spring, be sure to have your corn meters calibrated to the seed size you are planting to maximize seed placement. Take time the first day of planting to go over the planter, check its depth, and look at plant spacing, fertilizer rates, closing wheels, talc, and graphite. Mistakes made with the planter will haunt you all season, so don’t worry about how many acres you plant the first day, just get the planter set right! If you are looking at some of our PFR Proven™ products and practices, leave some check strips, as we all want to know what works to increase profits this year.
Spring is once again upon us! As with every year, it’s a great idea to review your field plans one last time before the rush begins. This year, I’m excited to work with farmers in our PFR Partners program. This will be a great tool that farmers can use to test studies from the Practical Farm Research (PFR)® book on their own farm, and to help prove the value of these products and practices out in the field.
Over the past few decades, we have continued to see a trend toward earlier corn planting to maximize yields. While there is a yield benefit, early planting comes with the additional risk of unpredictable weather.
As we enter this spring season, many of us are wondering…what will the repercussions be of this past winter’s mild temperatures? While no one really knows definitively if we’ll experience increased insect or disease pressure, we do know we’ll likely have increased winter annual weed pressure in our fields. Last fall’s extended season, along with the warm soil temperatures this spring, have resulted in an increase in marestail population as well as size of marestail rosettes.
Every year when the calendar flips to April, I sit back and think about how awesome it would be if I could tell you the exact crop plan and weather to obtain maximum yields in the season ahead. Sadly, I can’t do that, but I can at least pass on a few reminders that will set the foundation for a high-yielding crop. In my opinion, the planter pass is the most important pass of the season, and should be treated as such.
With spring, comes a flurry of activity. There are a million things to get done to raise a successful crop. In all the commotion of planting season, I recommend keeping a watchful eye on plant nutrition. You may say, “no sweat I already have my N, P and K applied so I checked that off the list weeks ago”. Applications of the big three nutrients are vital, and while I don’t want to minimize their importance, we shouldn’t assume that since we made our annual fertilizer applications that providing all the nutrition our crops need is complete.
This unusual, warm and dry winter has many corn producers thinking that early season insects or disease may be of greater concern than normal. Even if that happens, our seed-applied fungicides in Escalate™, are selected to offer broad spectrum control, regardless of the weather conditions that may encourage early season corn diseases.
I want to share a few reminders about the impact our management decisions and environmental factors can have on successful stand establishment. Key factors impacting corn emergence are soil moisture, availability of oxygen, soil temperature, seed quality and protection with seed treatment, variety selection, planting depth, seed-to-soil contact, uniform spacing, and singulation.
Record temperatures throughout winter and spring have made outdoor activity pleasant for people and crop pests alike. Winter annual weeds in particular have flourished, reaching sizes and ground cover densities never seen before.
One of the most common questions this year has been what effects will the warm winter have on crop production for 2017? Will we see increased insect pressure, weeds, diseases, and crop stres? Only time will tell, but the lack of frozen soils usually means more issues with insects and diseases that can overwinter.
Most spring seasons are anything but typical. Cool, wet conditions can delay planting, and long hours can dull the senses and affect our attention to detail.
If you haven’t already started planting, I’m sure you will be soon. Let’s quickly discuss the unseasonably warm temperatures we had this winter and why it has me concerned for this growing season. We rely on sub-freezing temperatures to eliminate many disease pathogens and insects that overwinter in our fields
Oct 19, 2016
As harvest progresses in Ohio, we are finding out which fields received enough water and which did not. As you navigate these varying conditions, it’s important to continue evaluating your combine’s performance. We usually do a good job of setting the combine when we start harvest; but don’t forget to continually monitor threshing quality and crop losses.
I’ve noticed a fair amount of ear rot this year, in particular, Diplodia. Diplodia can be exceptionally bad because the disease will eventually mummify the entire ear and can cause the kernels to be very lightweight.
Although fall tillage is a common practice across much of the Corn Belt, there are scenarios that favor the practice and others that do not. Many times following harvest, we begin plowing without considering amultitude of factors that might limit the benefits we should experience from making that decision.
For many farmers in my region, the 2016 harvest is a welcome change compared to 2015. Challenges always exist in any given year, but thankfully they were minimal and less severe this year than in 2015.
Diseases have become a major topic this fall. We have seen gray leaf spot, Anthracnose stalk rot, Diplopia stalk and ear rot, and even southern rust. Corn has filled out well, but stalk quality has become a concern as plants have cannibalized with late stress.
With harvest completion just around the corner, fall field work including fertilizer applications and tillage operations will be top priority. If you are applying dry fertilizer this fall, now is the best time to utilize yield maps for VRT applications based on crop removal.
When the 2016 harvest is behind us, it will be critical to review product performance and integral management practices. This is the time to learn what worked well, what didn’t work, and why. Although each season is unique, trends can indicate a strong relationship which demands attention.
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