By Dave Nanda, Seed Consultants, Inc.
Farming requires a lot of patience as well as good judgment. The winners use good decision-making process in planning, get the seed in the ground when the weather permits and then try to plan for the future after getting the crops planted. After the 2013 crop is planted, it is important to plan for the future. We must learn about the job our planters did and fix any problems before storing them away. Keep the following points in mind:
• Early scouting of plant stands is very important to determine if the population and plant distribution is satisfactory. So head to the fields to assess how well your planter performed.
• Based upon your seeding rate goal and row width, determine what the distance between plants within a row should be. Check the stand in 1/1000th of an acre at several spots in each field. In 30-inch rows, the distance is 17 feet, 5 inches.
• Check early to avoid complicating factors, such as missing plants. If you wait until later, you won’t know if the planter didn’t drop a seed, if the seed didn’t germinate, if a bird pecked it out, or if the plant was cut off by cutworm.
• We have stressed the importance of equidistant spacing in corn in a prior article. Soybean plants adjust to the space available, but corn plants are not very forgiving.
• While scouting your corn fields, if you pick up a pattern, you may examine the planter to see if seeding mechanisms were worn; whether the disk openers were worn and not making a good seed trench or some other cause. You may want to fix these problems before storing your planters away.