Next month thousands of farmers will make their annual trek to Becknology Days in Atlanta, Indiana, or one of the field shows at the Beck’s southern Indiana, or southern or central Illinois locations. Toby Ripberger is the Beck’s Hybrids coordinator of Practical Farm Research at all the sites and he says PFR tours this year will demonstrate a number of research plots, including a planting date study.
“We’ve planted all the way from March 15th to June 6th in 2 week increments,” he explained. “So with the weather and the drought we have now it’s going to be very interesting to see how those things play out.”
Farmers are looking closer at cover crops and Beck’s is as well with expanded research in that area this year.
“We’ve looked at cover crops for the last 2 or 3 years in small demo plots and this past August we went ahead and planted a plot on some no-till ground, some harder soil that would be conducive to cover crops to see some of the benefits there, especially some of the groundhog radishes and things of that nature that help with some natural tillage. We actually put six different cover crops in there and then we came back this spring and planted corn in all of those, and we’ll have three replications. So we’re excited to see any differences if we can there.”
Ripberger says they’ve already learned some things about the rye grass crop.
“Our rye grass, much like a lot of people’s, was a little hard to control this spring just because of the mild winter, and so it was a little thicker than we would normally like it. With that we’ve maybe seen a little bit of a population decrease on that because our rye grass was so thick. But there’s still a nice stand out there so I don’t know if that’s going to hurt yield any. It will be real interesting coming into harvest.”
See the plots’ progress at Becknology Days which runs August 23rd through 25th from 9 AM to 4 PM. The Southern Indiana Field Show is August 9, Central Illinois Field Show is August 14, and Southern Illinois Field Show is August 16. Last year more than 11,000 attended one of the 4 events.[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/07/Becknology-2012-preview.mp3|titles=Becknology Days 2012 preview]