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Healthy Yields in a Wild Year


Considering the variability in temperature and rainfall we saw in 2017, overall yields have been much better than expected. It’s just another example of the difference improved genetics have made in crop performance in the past 20 years.

I’ve been busy harvesting a lot of our trial plots, not only those of our cooperating growers but also on my family's operation. I value the results on our farm because, if something works on our place, I have more confidence recommending it to our customers.

As Jeff mentioned in his article, we were somewhat surprised at how much nitrogen we found in the profile after all the rain we had this spring. That may have been attributed to the N-Serve® we applied in the fall, as well as the Instinct® and Agrotain® Plus.

We’re still analyzing the results of our primary nitrogen study plot. We not only compared sidedress ammonia versus liquid nitrogen two ways—with a knife and closer, and a Y-drop—but also four different nitrification and urease inhibitors.

The intense approach to management—splitting our nitrogen applications and using the MicroShield micronutrients, foliar fungicide and insecticide where needed—continues to pay off. Even in a year when we might not have expected to see high yields, we’re still seeing a nice return on that investment. Among other things, it shows, once again, the plant health benefits of fungicide application in a year when disease pressure wasn’t exceptionally high. We had corn being harvested in November where the stalk was intact, and the plant and leaves still looked great.

The one thing I feel that we do better than the competition is the intense research we do within our company throughout our geography. It’s critical to know the products that provide a return on investment for our customers. We document that return for several years before we bring them to you.

Data from this year’s trials can be found on our website, and I’m really looking forward to sharing highlights at our winter meeting. We hope to see you there.

Tal Holmes Kyle Meece
Agronomy Sales
kmeece@unitedprairie.com