Ensure the Success of your Corn Crop
Jim Doolittle, YieldEdge Sales Manager
We are just about to kick off the 2021 planting season and I want to take a few minutes to talk about a couple of decision support technologies that are available at Countryside-Landmark this year. Two of the most critical activities we can do to ensure the success of our corn crop happen very early in the season; plant stand assessment, and nitrogen rate determination. If you don’t have enough corn plants emerge successfully out of the ground, your yield will suffer. If you don’t have sufficient nitrogen available to those plants before they hit their grand growth stage, your yield will suffer. We can help you manage both of those situations!
I have walked or driven an ATV across many tens or perhaps hundreds of thousands of acres in my career. On foot, you can never see an entire field. Even on an ATV, it takes time. So most of our stand assessments are done by looking at tiny patches of the field, usually close to a road or field entrance. This year, we will be using drones–both quadcopter style and a fixed wing–to run stand assessment flights over a number of acres. This technology is able to start counting corn plants at V2, and can cover ~100 acres in 15 minutes, so we will have an efficient way to do an entire field stand assessment with a minimal investment in time per field.
If you have a field with stand problems, or if you just want a check on how your planter performed this year, get in touch with your local agronomist, and get put on our flight list!
In-Season Nitrogen Management
One of the services we offer in our YieldEDGE AAA technology package is the Field Forecast Tool. This is a very powerful crop model that looks at plant-available nitrogen, water, and potassium levels throughout the growing season. One of the questions I’m always answering during the growing season is ‘After all this rain, do I need more nitrogen on my field?’ You probably have a plan with your agronomist, but heavy rains—or the lack of them—can affect nitrogen mineralization in the soil. You might need more N….you might need less! The Field Forecast Tool can help you make those decisions on the fly during the growing season.
The tool also offers a yield estimate, both for the overall field, and in the nitrogen rate decision tool. This allows you to see what the effect of more or less nitrogen will be on your final yield, as well as the per acre cost and revenue increase. In short, if you are split-applying nitrogen, you need to be running this tool on one or two of your fields to help you in making your final nitrogen rate decision. With corn prices at highs again, don’t miss out on the opportunity to get every bushel you can out of your crop. Ask your local agronomist about our YieldEDGE AAA program, and see how you can get enrolled.