Taking a look at lessons from 2015

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Andy Rodefer, Preble Co.Being a seed dealer, we get a lot of questions about conventional corn compared to triple stack corn. Guys were wanting to cut costs with conventional corn this year, but we have seen in the fields and heard from customers as much as 60-bushel differences between refuge corn and triple stack corn. The triple stack corn was better side-by-side.There was a wide range of yields by different hybrids. Most of the hybrids we have really leaned on in recent years still did fairly well. Our disappointment was with the newer hybrids that didn’t take the stress as well as some of our older hybrids. I don’t know how much you can rely on the data we saw this year. Some of the information on hybrids this year is not necessarily something you want to take to the bank.We had some Artesian drought tolerant hybrids from Syngenta. Personally I didn’t think it was dry enough at the end of summer that it would have hurt our corn, but after I shelled the Artesian hybrids it looks like the dry weather took more yield out of our corn and soybeans in this area than I had thought. We have seen good things with that Artesian technology. It doesn’t necessarily save 100% of your yield, but it does help with dry conditions. Jeff Duling, Putnam CountyI am not putting too much emphasis on the test plots. I am just going with what my seed guy says. I will probably plant the same hybrids I planted last year. As far as beans, I had tremendous success with the Plenish beans again and so we’ll run with that. I am getting a 50-cent premium and the yields are right there with my other beans.I thought we would have some major compaction issues, and some guys do, but the dry weather and the cracking in the soil alleviated a lot of those problems. Maybe with the no-till and cover crops that was enough to help it out.I am hoping a few more guys experiment with cover crops. The government is throwing a lot of money at us to experiment with this. You can’t just do it once in one field and expect to see a benefit. In Putnam County now you have to keep it in cover crops for three years. The problem is that so many guys see their neighbors ripping and they think they should go rip. But this year, I didn’t see much reason to do much tillage. Matt Saal, Wayne Co.I probably had five or six different hybrids out this year and there were two or three that really shined, so I’ll buy more of them for the coming year. We had some 20-inch row corn out this year that we chopped. That looked really promising so I will do more of that next year. It just allowed more tons per acre. If we would have had more water, we’d have had bigger ears, but we still got more tonnage off the 20-inch rows than the 30-inch rows this year.Because we are double cropping, we backed our maturities down to 100-day from around 115-day corn for silage. We have triticale out now, and we want to continue to double crop. With the double-crop I can afford to lose a couple tons of corn silage per acre and still have a good net gain with double cropping.We planted our soybeans on 20-inch rows this year and they yielded about what 15-inch rows and 7.5-inch rows did around here. So we will probably try that again too. Ryan Lee, Union CountyThis is a kind of year where you just throw out your yield data. We’ll still rely on the plot systems that are out there, though. For us, this was a year where, other than looking at fertilizer removal on your variable rates, the yield maps are not worth a whole lot.This is a rare year where the yield maps look exactly the opposite of what they should. On one farm we had 230 or 240 bushels on the high ground and in the good black ground where that corn should have been there was nothing. It is hard to learn much from that.On the other hand, some of the guys that farm that tougher rolling ground around here — this was the year for them. And good for them, they certainly deserve it for all of the other years.I do believe that spraying for frogeye leaf spot in the soybeans was a good practice this year. It hit the disease thresholds and we know that can be a devastating disease. We sprayed the vast majority of our bean acres and I am guessing that was a factor in having our second best bean yield ever. We were trying to save yields rather than add yield. In retrospect I wish we’d have left more test strips to know for sure how much it helped, but I believe that spraying was the right decision based on some farms I saw that were not sprayed.last_img

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