Corn & Soybean Thoughts

For the majority, our region has been blessed with an excellent start and early season development with your crops.  I have a number of growers comment that this has been one of the best starts that they have seen in a long time.  When we talk with growers and agricultural people in other regions and hear of some of the weather conditions they are having and talk with people that have traveled in other areas of the country and they comment that this region looks the best that they have seen, we know we have been fortunate – so far.

In the past 10 days we have seen some very spotty weather events and rains.  In the Gibsonburg area for example we have had over 3″ in the past couple of days on soils that already had a good level of moisture.  These kind of rains cause different kinds of crop stresses to occur in crops, depending on the crop, the stages of growth, and the condition of the soil and crop before the heavier rains.

Corn:  With the variable soil and weather conditions that exist with the different areas, I am suggesting that each of you give us a call to discuss your thoughts about the need or value of treating your corn with fungicides or other products.  With the type of weather we are having so far this season and the kind of yield potential your corn crop currently has, we feel it may be a good investment to protect the crop health of the crop as much as possible this year.

Soybeans:  Within the past 10 days or so, there have been soybean fields in specific areas that have had large amount of rains.  Where this has occurred, these plants will see a significant set back from losing their hair roots and nodule nitrogen production.  Once the soil becomes drained from the excess water and air can get back into the soil, the soybean plant at its current younger state of development can start re-generating new roots.  Depending of the severity of the water damage of course determines how quickly the plant will recover to a normal rate of growth.  There are foliar applications that will help the plants recover their roots more quickly and help get the plant healthily quicker to handle what weather conditions lay ahead.

With some of these different conditions and issues in mind, it may work best to just contact us if you are interested and we can discuss your specific questions and individual situation.

Philosophy of Les

I have had the opportunity and the privilege of observing and working for farmer clients with their crop production goals and objectives for quite a few years – 45 if anyone is counting. Over the years farmers have been some of my best teachers about the many elements and talents required to be a success in working with soils, crops and risk management decisions.

I also have had the opportunity of working with some excellent mentors in the agricultural crop production field. Of the many people that have helped me, I can mention Don Ackerman and Dick Large who were founders of A&L Testing Laboratories, Jerry Stoller who is founder of Stoller Enterprises – and I believe understands more about how plants function than anyone else in the country, and Johnny McRight of DeltAg Formulations who has developed chemistry that greatly enhances nutrient efficiency in plants.

With this in mind, the following is what I feel are some of the important elements in remaining successful in the competitive world of crop production that farmers are facing today.

The advancement of new technologies in all areas of production agriculture is coming at a faster and faster pace, such items like precision GPS technologies, seed genetics, plant growth regulators, and new chemical compounds are more and more becoming available. But, what is important is that we not forget to first properly manage the fundamentals –

# 1 Develop and maintain a sound soil testing program based on properly defined soil management zones.

# 2 Manage a balanced soil health fertility program for all crop nutrients

# 3 Develop and maintain an accurate record of crop yields based on the crop and soil variability’s with yield monitors.

If these fundamentals of crop production are developed, maintained and properly utilized, more accurate and efficient decisions can be made with the increasing amount of new technologies that are becoming available to increase crop yields.