Remember the Top 5 Factors to Producing a Top Notch Crop This Spring

Spring is here and I am sure you are all already to roll.  Remember the top 5 factors to producing a top notch crop?

  1. Soil conditions at planting.  Be sure that soil temps are above 55 degrees and moisture levels are adequate.  Soil conditions at planting are the most important factors when growing a top notch crop.
  2. Seed Placement.  Consistent seed to soil contact along with correct depth placement is critical for identical emerging.
  3. Seed quality.  Do you know the actual germination of the varieties you  have chosen this year?
  4. Right variety in the right field.  As you finish up your spring preparation,  be sure you follow the crop plan.
  5. Post planting management.  Be sure to be proactive;  with agronomic decisions such as herbicide, insecticide and fungicide applications throughout the year.  Do not be reactive!

Questions on how to implement these factors?  Leave a comment below or contact us today!

Have a safe planting season!

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 Fall Tillage Prep Will Affect Your Spring Seed Bed

This video with Scott O’Neill of Corn Capital Innovations will compare 3 different fall tillage scenarios.   All three had corn removed approximately 2 weeks prior to recording.  The field had a Salford RTS, (A vertical tillage tool) run 2 times at 2 opposite directions with a 7 degree angle.  Now, we will compare the final tillage step.

This is what we will look for:

  • Cutting and sizing of residue
  • Where the residue is placed in the soil profile
  • Fracturing of the soils

First Scenario

In this part of the field we used a chisel plow with a 3 bar harrow set at 4”-6”.  Overall the field looks level and will only need a 1 pass in the spring to be ready to plant.  As we dig into the soil, we will find that the vertical tillage along with a chisel plow leaves good structure to the soil as it keeps the residue within the top 1-2” of soil.  This is ideal for a healthy spring seed bed.  As we dig deeper there is little residue and the soil is well fractured, with no sizeable chunks of soil.

Second Scenario

This part of the field was ripped with large covering boards on the rear shanks.  As you will see it has created a little “ridge” at 36” across the back of the tool.  Keep in mind that the corn planter wants a flat sooth playing field to plant into next spring.   Due to the ridging it will be hard to one pass next spring and plant into a uniform seed bed.  If this ground is not worked backed this fall it will provide challenges to next year’s corn crop emergence and consistency.  The challenge with using a ripper with large covering board means as we dig you will find residue incorporated to deeper depths than desired.  The soil structure is different as well and you will have uneven soil temperatures and well as uneven water distribution when working and planting into next spring.

Third Scenario

In the final scenario we used a ripper as well, but no covering boards were on the shanks.  This tool is equipped with a 4 bar harrow on the back to help with the leveling of the soil.  You will also see that using this tool keeps the residue high, due to the lack of the covering boards, as well as the harrow pulling the residue to the surface.  The soil is fractured evenly and will be set up for a one pass and plant scenario next spring.

In closing:

The three different scenarios show how using a vertical tillage tool can change the outcome of what your primary fall tillage tools need to be and how well they work.  The goal is to provide good soil shatter and residue sizing with the vertical tillage tool.  Then follow with your primary fall tillage tool that also keeps the residue high and the seed bed level.  Maintaining soil moisture and structure going into the 2013 growing season will be paramount as we are very short on sub-soil moisture.

Remember the two main points are the cut, size, and location of your residue and good fractured soil.  If you keep it level and even, you will be a better corn farmer, bar none!

My Crop is Lost, What Do I Do?

If this is your field, what are the emotions going through your mind right now?

Storm Damage is both financially and emotionally stressful and we understand that; it is our job to help farmers like you plan for the best and worst scenarios.  We encourage every farmer to protect yields at all costs.

We can’t undo what Mother Nature has already done.  You have to do everything you can to get this crop processed, harvested and not to let this year’s crop influence next year’s crop.  You have to do everything in your capabilities by the end of this year to be set up for the coming year.

“Never give up on a crop unless it is damaged below the thresholds where putting additional dollars into the crop will not surpass expected crop revenues.”  says Steve O’Neill, Chief Executive Officer and Owner at Corn Capital Innovations

Is this a disaster? Yes, it’s terrible but we can plan for these types of events!  If you are asking yourself, “why me”?  You have to realize that it happens to someone every year, everywhere, in different places.   If not you this year or last year, maybe it will happen next year.  Or maybe you have already been through it?

The time to review your risk management plan is not after the damage is done!  You can’t predict the future, so be prepared!  We would like to work with you now to set up your plan for the future.

There is a popular adage often attributed to Benjamin Franklin, the father of time management, “Failing to plan is planning to fail,”

Being prepared is to make ready (Mind Set)

To put together various elements (Crop Insurance)

The condition of being prepared (Risk Management)

Not only is there volatility in weather but there is also volatility in the markets.   Corn Capital Innovations can help you with both.  Do you have a question about the risk management options available and how they can benefit you?  Leave a comment below, or contact us today.

Production: Farming, Crop and Bushels Per Acre

What is Production The dictionary says:

1. The act or process of producing.

2. Something produced; product. 3. The total number of products; output,

1 = Farming   2= Crop   3= Bushels per Acre

Farmers are probably the most unique businessmen there are.  They need to understand more than the average corporate business person.  They need to comprehend the science of seed and soil.  They need to be accountants, purchasers, mechanics and welders.  They have to be a weather forecaster, and depending on their farm operation, may also have to be nutritionists and a veterinarian.  With all that said, they still need to “farm”.  A farmer needs to protect and nurture their crop from planting to harvest.

I remember hearing “the farmer only works two months out of the year: May & October” which is absolutely not the case!  It is all that can be done in between those seasons that will help to maximize bushels per acre and revenue per acre.  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!

The weather will determine how you will nurture your crop.  A great example is feeding a diabetic; they do best when fed small meals all day long.  The same idea applies with farming; nurture your crop by applying multiple applications of fertilizer and routinely apply fungicides in combination with other pesticides.  Farmers who follow this philosophy will reap the benefit of higher yields as the plants will be healthier all season long.

What factors are keeping you from consistently producing maximum bushels?

Check the ones you already have in place:

__A 3 year goal and plan to reach higher yields

__Control over my production and yield strategy

__The right people in place to help me reach my goals

__Completed cropping plans prior to harvest each year

__Confidence in which seed and technologies to purchase

__Expertise in the latest agronomic practices to achieve my goals

__ Proficiency in advanced tillage practices

98% of Corn Capital Innovations growers raise yields to new levels and significantly lower their per unit production costs!  The 2% that don’t do this, do not follow our program.

Other factors to consider include protecting your investment with Crop Insurance, increasing profitability with Grain Marketing and generating revenue using Financial Management.

Contact us to help you increase your production as you nurture your field this growing season!


Next Page »