Corn is one of the most important crops in the United States. It is the basis for a large variety of products that people use all over the planet. Agronomy companies have become crucial in improving the yield most farms are able to get from their corn crops. Delta Farm Press has come up with tips to help farmers use agronomics to improve their crop and their yield in the upcoming year.
Start by getting to know your soil. Experts at agronomy companies agree that the first step when it comes to upping the yield of a crop is to sample the soil so that you know what you are working with and what you are going to have to add. Sampling the soil gives you an idea of what it will be capable of producing through the year.
Dr. Dan Fromme, state corn specialist and LSU AgCenter associate professor tells farmers and others that it does not make sense to start planting crops without taking the time to sample the soil. He also says that if farmers cannot afford to put all of the nutrients on the soil that it needs, adding what they can afford is a good start.
The problem with growing a crop like corn is that it is one of the least forgiving of the crops. It can be very picky when it comes to the nutrients it wants. To have more success with this, often farmers check up on the soil in the winter so that they can better prepare for the spring. Experts at agronomy companies say that one good thing that can be done is add lime the soil as soon after the harvest is complete to give it time to return acidic soil to a more basic state.
Dr. Angela McClure, corn and soybean specialist and professor at the University of Tennessee says that her advice is always to not put everything off until just before the planters get going in the spring. She says that they should put out the potash, phosphorus, and elemental sulfur soon after the harvest ends. The one caveat is that if the fields flood, those efforts can be wasted.
Predictive farming analytics shows that the earlier the planting can be completed, the higher the yields will be. It is important, however, to pay close attention to the soil because if the spring season is too wet, the soil can be left oversaturated and that leads to crop failure.
Dr. Erick Larson associate professor at Mississippi State University says that getting the best corn yield requires more than just watching the date that the corn is planted and the rate of the seeding. He says that no one can pick a set date but farmers need to set the date based on the weather conditions.
Most agronomy companies say that when the corn is irrigated, it is possible to plant more corn. On the flip side, dryland fields cannot sustain as much in terms of seeds planted. It is important to not overpopulate an area as that can actually reduce the amount of corn that is produced on the land.
After testing the soil, the next most important thing a farmer needs to do is pick the right hybrid. This can make all the difference in the success of the corn crop. One of the biggest expenses farmers have is on the seeds that are used. States put out their own test results for different hybrids that are available and it is worth it to check those results before buying seed.
Another good place to get data on hybrid seeds is from the companies that produce them. They can get you some really good information about the different kinds of hybrid seeds that they offer. Take the sustainability data from your soil and pick hybrid seeds that will work best with the conditions with your soil. Picking hybrid seed that will work best with the soil on your farm is one of the most important things you can do to have a successful growing season.
Corn is hard to grow but with the right data and plan, you can have a successful growing season.