Beck’s Hybrids field shows are underway this month with the Kentucky and southern Illinois shows this week and central Illinois next week. The shows culminate with Becknology Days at the Beck’s home office in Atlanta, IN August 22nd through 24th. Practical Farm Research tours are a big part of what they offer each year.
“Practical farm research is more of an agronomic type research,” said Toby Ripberger, the director of PFR. So we’re really looking at the management of the crops and of course Mother Nature controls most of that. But the percentage of that we’re able to control we want to be as efficient as possible in helping our growers be as efficient as possible in doing that management.”
He tells HAT farmers like to see the research first hand, and that’s what they get on each tour.
“A lot of people talk about research but when we can take them out on the tour buggies and show them the actual fields where we’re doing the research and they can walk up to it and see it firsthand, I think that really drives the message home.”
Among the tour offerings are various nitrogen studies which Beck’s offers each year, and a new sidedress study this year “where we’re looking at 30 inch spacing in between the rows and also 60 inch spacing with 28 percent sidedress. We also have our nitrogen timing trials where we’re always looking at those split applications compared to a 100 percent pre-plant or 100 percent sidedress application, and then we also have our nitrogen utilization trials where we’re looking to see how certain genetics use their nitrogen differently.”
Split nitrogen applications have shown some very good yield bumps according to Ripberger.
“The last couple of years we’ve seen great yields from that. We’ve seen up to an $80 per acre advantage with a split application of nitrogen compared to a 100 percent pre-plant.”
Also on the tour are planting dates studies, cover crops, 300 bushel corn yield attempts, and new this year is a closing wheel study.