Dale Johnson

by Dale Johnson   DaleJ@agpartners.net

This winter has been extremely busy for our staff.  Although most work this time of year is done behind a computer rather than in the field, it can still be exhausting.  The 2017 wrap up leads right into the 2018 farm plan season and is a critical factor in your decision-making process moving forward. Analyzing grid samples, VRT spread recommendations and harvest data allows us to make better farm plans and achieve higher success through technology.

A tool we use at Ag Partners is our Advanced Yield System (AYS) program and our specialized team did a great job showcasing our technology platform at our annual winter meeting in February. For those of you who attended, Thank You!  For others interested in our program here is a quick recap and be sure to contact one of our sales or AYS specialists for more information.

300 Bushel corn……Can that be me? The title of the corn presentation came down to seven controlled drivers and trends in 2017.

  • Nitrogen
  • Rate Applied P, K
  • Soil P, K, Fertility
  • Hybrid Selection and Placement
  • Planting Rates and VR Planting
  • Fungicide
  • Crop Protection

A deeper dive into how each of these factors contributed to our yield in 2017 was discussed and while last year was a tremendous corn crop, each attribute still provides insight for the future. For example, what is the difference in yield and how it was achieved in the top 20% of corn acres vs. the bottom 80%? Technology, and more importantly the data collected over a period of years helps us to design and implement what we call our greater acre trial projects. Last year’s trials were Delta Nitrogen, Soil vs. Tissue analysis, hybrid selection and placement, micronutrients, and fungicide. Year over year comparisons of these trials on your farm will prove or disprove how to achieve the next yield level. The inception of AYS in 2013 has grown to 150,000 acres of data over 5 years to make a premium technology platform and provide solid performance solutions for the next cropping season

Many growers were thrilled with corn yields this year, but soybeans were a different story. The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly summed up the title of the soybean information presented by Casey Carlson.

The Good

  • Yield
  • Variety
  • Crop Rotation
  • Fungicide
  • Fertility
  • Tillage

The Bad

  • Weather
  • Planting Date

The Ugly

  • Weeds and Disease

Once again soybean data was provided and discussed with growers in our AYS program. At times the data doesn’t make sense, especially looking at a disappointing season like 2017 compared to a record 2016 soybean crop. Data and trends over a period of years still show increasing bean yields even though we sometimes hit a slump. As the weather grows warmer and we look at preventative maintenance programs for our tractors, field cultivators and planters for spring, don’t forget to take a second look at your agronomy plan. Make sure your inputs are in line with your current yield goals for both corn and beans. Mother nature isn’t always on your side, but with the use of technology and a solid agronomy plan we can overcome adversity when it arises.