crop yield potential

2015 Planting Prep

The snow has melted, the grass is starting to turn green and farm equipment across the midwest is slowly starting to roll out of hibernation. Spring is here and that means planting season is just around the corner! Are you prepared?

Recently I had the opportunity to contribute to this article “Four Areas to Consider in 2015 Planting Prep” by WaterStreet Solutions. I felt it was important to share this information with you. Below are some key points from the article including a link to the full article.

What will it take to prepare for a successful 2015 planting season?

In my opinion, mindset is very important going into a crop year – it greatly influences success or failure. It will be important to approach the 2015 growing season with discipline, patience and strong belief in the crops potential, despite challenging farm economics.

These are four primary components to preparing for the new planting and growing season:

  1. PlanningPlant 15 Prep
  2. Agronomics
  3. Patience
  4. Execution


  • Anticipate the emotion that happens during planting season
  • Create revenue by increasing production
  • Mentally walk through your planting and growing season
  • Review “what-if” scenarios


Check that all inputs are ready by going through a series of questions. Please review the list of seed, trait packages, fertilizer, weed, production and yield questions in the full version of the article.


Be patient and consider the soil conditions before you start preparing the ground. Remember: By the time you’ve finished planting you’ve already dictated 75% of the yield potential of your crop! That’s how important soil conditions are during planting. In the full article I’ve included a few questions to ask yourself to determine if the soil is optimal for field work to begin.


  • Use the previous three factors to execute when the time is right
  • Preparation promotes a smooth season in the field
  • Keep your eyes on the ultimate goal – being the lowest cost per bushel producer

Prepare For a Successful 2015 Season

Make sure you do your pre-planting prep work and take time to prepare your mind for the challenges and opportunities that a new growing season presents. Start by reading the entire pre-planting prep article from WaterStreet Solutions and answering the questions provided. The team at Corn Capital Innovations would be happy to guide you through the pre-planting preparation process, please contact us for more information.

Read Full Article – “Four Areas to Consider in 2015 Planting Prep”

How do you prepare for the planting and growing season? Please share your tips in the comments below.

Five Factors to Produce a Top Crop

Spring is just around the corner and soon we will be back in the fields.  To prepare for this spring, we want to talk a little about minimizing the effects of 1,000 variables that Mother Nature will throw at you.  Controlling the 5 factors listed below will set your operation apart from the others each and every year!

  1. Soil conditions at planting
  2. Seed placement
  3. Seed quality
  4. Right variety in the right field
  5. Post-planting management

Soil – What are the ideal conditions to plant into?

Knowing when the soil is perfect takes both the science of seed and soil.  An old rule of thumb was to plant your crop based on the calendar.  While it is important to get your crop planted in a timely fashion, nothing is more important than the conditions you plant into.  Corn will yield the best if planted when soil is 50 degrees or higher, with a steady increase of temperatures in the forecast.  Perfect soil conditions start with the first tillage pass.  The ground must be level and firm.  The residue must remain sized and high in the soil column to keep it out of the seed trench where it can disrupt germination.  Ensuring the seed trench has good tilth, is not smeared, and is closed effectively will help in producing a great stand.  It is always better to wait 24 hours for better soil conditions than to simply push the envelope and cross it off the list.  You only get 1 chance to plant the crop per year and patience pays in the form of yield!

Seed Placement – What is the ideal depth to plant?

Depths of 2 – 2.25 inches are most favorable for corn.  Be cognizant of your speed as over 4 miles per hour could result in too much fluctuation in depths due to row unit bounce.  Uneven planting depth will lead to uneven emergence.  Keep in mind that a plant that emerges 24 hours after others will never catch up or produce to its fullest potential! Depths of 2-1/4” will ensure that the corn plant grows its full set of nodal roots and can handle the stresses and needs of the growing season.

Seed Quality & Matching the Right Variety to the Right Field

Starting with the right seed for your soil conditions is only the beginning. As you know, you can’t control Mother Nature.  How you handle what she gives us is the one thing you can control!

It’s not just about picking the right genetics; it’s about matching the right germplasm to the right field as 75% of all varieties never perform to their potential because they are planted on the wrong piece of ground.

If you have started with high quality seed, you must not place it in harm’s way!  The first 48 hours that the seed is in the ground are the most important.  Planting into suspect conditions, ahead of a cold rain, or in wet soils with residue in the seed trench will sacrifice even the highest of quality seed.

Post-Planting Management – After the planter is in the shed.
Proper post planting management starts with a plan!

We will address some of the challenges and strategies in our April Blog.

Do you have questions on how to increase your production as you nurture your field this growing season?  Ask us below or Contact Us today!

How Did You Make Your 2012 Decisions?

The last 40 days have been a flurry of reaping the harvest.  Now is the time to review the decisions you made along with finalizing your 2013 cropping plans.

How did your yields respond this season on your ground and your growing environments? Did it match what you anticipated it to be at the beginning of the season? Sometimes we are all quick to react when the reality of the year did not meet our expectations or when final yields exceed our expectations?  The questions you must ask yourself is am I making decisions on concreted evidence for the next growing season that coincide with your 3-5 year yield goals, or are you reacting in the face of emotion? The two must be separated to make beneficial decisions.

We have analyzed the numbers on 200 different combines based on variables such as:

  • Different planting dates
  • Nitrogen
  • Seed selection
  • Residue from previous year
  • Plant population
  • Tillage
  • Fungicide application
  • Soil environment
  • Rain fall amounts

We ride combines each fall to gain the knowledge on how each specific field fared throughout the year and what type of environment was provided in each field to obtain the results that will determine your profitability. As we have received a large array of performances, what we are seeing is that it still comes down to dividing total bushels by acres to come up with realistic yield information. By reviewing the results of specific field APHs you’ll be better able to gauge if the yields are coinciding with where you need to go to increase yield levels across the entire operation.

Because we were faced with so many variables this year we found that it’s highly important to use good concrete yield data, versus 19th century production strategies of using weigh wagons to dictate your success.  The weigh wagon’s inaccuracies were proven in a year with so much variability within each field as well as variability across field locations.

It turns out that 2012 was not as bad as expected as some acres produced average and some above average yields just miles from each other.  The weather events played an obvious role in the variability of the 2012 crop. Based off of timing of the rain, wind, etc. some yields came in below expectations. The key factor to look at was that the challenges didn’t stop with just one event.

With 2012 behind us we need to be proactive for the upcoming year. Instead of looking back at what could have been, look at what we can control next year in the face of adversity. The year started out with the potential of above average yields and had Mother Nature cooperated, yields would have been even better.  Remember, we can’t control Mother Nature; we can only minimize the extent of the variables that she throws at us.

Now is the time to put together your cropping plan for 2013.   We will work with you to lay out a step-by-step plan specifically for your operation.  A solid plan will assist you for 2013 and beyond.  Let us help walk you through the variables you can control!  Contact us today at 320-523-2252.

Corn Capital Innovations Makes Sure Farmers are Achieving Their Goals

For every farmer who has another crop in the ground congratulations on a safe & successful spring!

Many people believe that spring is the start to our crop year.  However, 75% of your crop yield potential has already been dictated. We know that weather has an impact on predicting a top notch crop, but, decisions you have made up until now have a much greater impact.

As you were in the fields this spring what did you notice?  What are the things you have changed or would have changed to be more prepared?

Did you know how well the combine performed last Fall by spreading out the residue?  Did you review your Fall tillage plan?  And what were the conditions this Spring as we prepared the soil for this year’s crop?

I’m Scott O’Neill with Corn Capital Innovations and as we worked with our clients this spring we were taking many notes on how decisions made a year ago are impacting our crop this year.  Throughout the growing season the plants will tell the story of your management plan as well as the environmentally stresses we face.

Here at Corn Capital Innovations we are working diligently to make sure farmers are achieving their goals.