The better than expected corn yields this year are teaching growers some lessons about how to get the most yield out of their hybrids. Stephanie Smith, with DuPont Pioneer in Fort Wayne, says how growers applied nitrogen was a key factor this year, “We can really tell the difference between pre-plant nitrogen application and nitrogen that was side-dressed.” She told HAT farmers who side-dressed reaped the benefits of side-dressing this year “by delivering nitrogen more timely to the corn crop and to have the nitrogen last longer in the soil.” She added that wet soils and cool temperatures this summer provided perfect condition for nitrogen loss in the soil.
For soybeans, it was planting dates that determined yields. “The early planted soybeans benefited by early August rain during pod fill,” said Smith. Later planted soybean crops entered the pod fill period during the dry weeks of August and September.
As far as recommendations for 2014, Smith says she will be making recommendation to growers about seed treatments at the winter meetings, “There are some really exciting things going on with seed treatments right now.” She said new types of seed treatments can protect against insects, disease, and many other problems.