Gregg Gustine Agronomist Pine Island

By Gregg Gustine  greggg@agpartners.net

With the corn harvest in full swing it appears the yields are going to be exceptional for the people that planned for a great harvest by picking the correct hybrid and having the correct fertilizer plan in place. This year’s corn is coming off fields that produced a bean crop in 2016 that was well above average. When we consider an extra ten bushels of beans and thirty to forty extra bushels of corn above normal, in a two-year period, we need to think about how much extra nutrient removal occurred. These two great crops in a row could easily have used up an extra one hundred pounds of potash and seventy-five pounds of DAP more than an average crop.  Please visit with your agronomist to ensure that your fertilizer program reflects this additional nutrient removal.  At the very least get your potash spread this fall. AYS data shows us that fall applied potash is worth five to seven bushels more versus spring applied. Even with corn floating around $2.90, timing this application properly should add a minimum of $7.50 an acre to the bottom line after paying for the extra application.

I have heard talk in the country of letting the wetter corn dry in the field.  Although the recent sub-freezing temperatures have stopped the advancement of stalk disease, stalk integrity is not that good. One good wind or a wet snow event could put a lot of corn on the ground.  Research shows us that the optimum harvest moisture is 20%. More ears are retained at this moisture and there is less head shelling.  Remember it’s all about the bushels!

Almost all corn hybrids are having a good year but as usual a few are producing exceptional results. Make sure and take the time to lock up your favorite numbers.  Once the talk starts in the country about a hot number, the supply can get short in a hurry.  Talk to your agronomist soon to lock in your seed order, no matter when or how you choose to make payment.

Ag Partners lime crews are traveling across the area correcting ph in our customer’s fields. Even though you may not grow alfalfa, having correct soil ph is important to you.  Soybeans are a legume and respond to lime application.  The beneficial bacteria in the soil that help plants take up and fix nitrogen and phosphorus perform better at a ph of 7.0. Crop nutrients are also tied up in the soil by low ph, phosphorus starts being tied up below 6.3, potassium, nitrogen, and sulfur have problems below 6.0. Check your soil samples to make sure your ph levels are adequate so the fertilizer you spread is available to your crop.

Work smart and stay safe through the rest of your harvest!