The Fall farm show and field day season is underway. Over 8,000 people attended Becknology Days this weekend; and, the granddaddy of outdoor farm shows, the Farm Progress Show will kick off on Tuesday in Decatur, IL. Farmers can get their first look at some of the new products and technology for the 2014 growing season at these shows. And, there will be lots of new equipment with green, red, blue, or orange paint at the shows.
Dr. Kevin Cavanaugh, with Beck’s Hybrids, said there was a lot of interest in refuge in a bag products at Becknology Days, “These have been a real big hit with growers, and Beck’s is fortunate to offer two different families of both the Optimum Acre Max family and the Easy Refuge from Syngenta.” He added growers like the ease of use as well as the additional yield it gives them.
A concept that got a lot of attention at Becknology Days and is likely to draw crowds at Farm Progress is the ability to plant different hybrids in the same field, on the go. A computer-controlled planter lets a farmer match different hybrids to different soil types. Cavanaugh says this has growers thinking about hybrid selection in a whole new way, “In that kind of a system where we are changing hybrids on the go, we have to think a little bit differently than in the past.” He said in the past growers only had to worry about one or two different hybrids in a field but not a field with multiple combinations of hybrids could be a challenge, “You have to plan that at harvest time you would have different ear sizes, and maturity rates.” He said it will be important to get the right hybrid in the right soil type but to also be able to harvest quickly without yield loss. Research by Beck’s has shown this technology can increase corn yields by as much as 20 bpa.
Field demonstration, a staple of outdoor farm shows, will not be held at FPS because the crops are running 2 to 3 weeks behind due to late planting. While these crops look to be doing well despite late planting, Cavanaugh still recommends planting as early next spring as possible, “Farmers are beginning to doubt if planting early really pays off; but, if I think about long term averages, I would much rather plant early, get that crop off to a good start, have a cool pollination window and a long grain fill period.”
HAT will have on location coverage of Farm Progress Show this week and Farm Science Review next month.