When evaluating what worked this year and what did not work, the law of averages is your best guide. This growing season was definitely not average, but figuring out what is average is a challenge. Brian Early, with DuPont Pioneer, says average the past several years, “Look at as many years of data as you can; ask your seed people for several years of data from different locations.” He said you need a multi-year approach over a wide geography if you are really looking for stability.
Take planting dates, for example. April planted crops did better this year, but that may not always be the case — especially in northern Indiana. Early stated, “In the north, we needed a long growing season for the April planted corn to take advantage of cooler weather and fewer growing degree units.” He said that corn crop pollinated when it was mild and hit the grain fill period just right, so it yielded well. “The cool and dry fall really extended the grain fill period, and that is why you are seeing such good yields from the April planted crop, “ said Early.
Nitrogen loss is another issue where averages will help you. Despite heavy rain Early says nitrogen loss was not as big of an issue this year as it was last year.
More with Brian Early under the agronomy tab at our web site.