Agronomy Notebook

Growing Degree Days and corn emergence

As corn planting gets underway across the eastern Corn Belt and another growing season has begun, it will be time to walk and scout fields. Once the corn is planted, the next critical event will be uniform emergence. Many producers have read or heard that it takes about 100 to 120 Growing Degree Days (GDDs) [...]

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Corn germination and emergence processes

As growers across the Eastern Corn Belt get ready to plant corn, it is important to review and understand what goes into corn the germination and emergence process. Uniform corn emergence is one of the most important aspects of stand establishment and producing high yielding corn. Understanding germination, emergence, and how environmental factors influence these [...]

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Preseason planter maintenance tips

Hopefully by now you have begun to service and prepare your planter for a successful crop initiation. Set yourself up for a successful planting season and a prosperous harvest by taking time to ensure your planter has been calibrated and set to handle the varying seed size that we are experiencing this year. Below are [...]

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Tips on capturing the premium for non-GMO corn

With lower commodity prices, many corn growers in the Eastern Corn Belt are producing non-genetically modified (GMO) corn to lower input costs while attempting to capture an additional premium. Depending on the contracting elevator, standard GMO contamination allowances are typically from 0% to 1%. Producing non-GMO corn within the acceptable tolerances of GMO contamination is [...]

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What is the proper plant population?

One factor that greatly influences corn yields is plant population. Determining the correct plant population may take some effort, however, it is a critical factor that every corn grower needs to get right in order to maximize yields. Recent research performed by universities and seed companies has determined that that yields increase significantly as populations [...]

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Uniform corn emergence tips

Two aspects of stand establishment often discussed by agronomists are emergence and seed spacing. “Picket fence” spacing in corn helps plants grow efficiently and minimizes competition between them. Uniform spacing is an important part of stand establishment. More importantly, however, is uniform emergence. Plants that are just 1 leaf collar behind (due to uneven emergence) [...]

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Winter wheat management

In the coming months as the weather warms, up winter wheat will break dormancy and will begin to green up. After a period of about 2 weeks producers should evaluate their stand in order to make management decisions for their wheat crop. Part of this evaluation includes counting tillers to determine if there is an [...]

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Planning for high yielding soybeans

When planning for the upcoming growing season, it can be easy to focus more energy on corn production as it has traditionally been the more intensively managed crop. However, producers who put in the effort to manage their soybean crop have proven it is possible to attain high yields of 70+ bushels per acre. Below [...]

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Green stems still a problem in soybeans

In many areas of the eastern Corn Belt, soybean growers had difficulties this harvest due to Green stem syndrome. When green stem syndrome occurs, stems and leaves can remain green after pods have matured. As a result, while pods and seeds are mature and dry enough to be harvested, harvest operations can be slowed as [...]

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It’s never too early to plan for next year: Now is the time to implement plans to ensure clean fields and maximum yields in 2017

For many of us, fall is about seeing the “payoff” from all our hard work during the past season. While harvest does allow us to make observations and summarize our findings from the past season, I’d encourage you to also consider preparing your seed bed for next year. For some of you that means tillage, [...]

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