On Thursday, January 18th, Novus Ag held their annual Winter Meeting at Beck’s Hybrids in London, OH. This meeting is a great way to analyze the previous crop year and learn how to implement new practices in the current year. The growers had inquisitive questions and discussion on both soybean and corn practices. They also heard about ways to market their grain wisely, and how the Ohio Corn & Wheat Association is putting checkoff dollars to good use. The meeting would not be complete if there weren’t some raffle prizes and a great home-made lunch as well. Five growers took home a 5 lb. jar of TerraMax Dry inoculant for soybeans, one grower took home a 73-quart High Performance Cooler from Ozark Trail, and one grower took home a $250 gift card for Innova Performance Products. Congratulations to Bob Scheiderer, Jared Thomas, Vernon Yoder, Greg Yutzy, Neall Weber, Eric Kesler, and Bill Shaefer for winning our raffle prizes.
The meeting kicked off with FC Stone speaking with growers about their company as a whole and their plans for the future. They discussed what farmers should expect from an agronomy company and what they should expect from grain companies. Growers learned how to price grain and use time to their advantage. FC Stone also talked about forward fertilizer sales and encouraged growers to buy inputs earlier when value is available.
AJ Woodyard, Technical Crop Production Specialist with BASF made his return to this year’s winter meeting with updates on his 2018 soybean crop and what could be learned from his trials. Some of the main takeaways from his presentation were:
- Soybeans are light harvesters and you should implement strategies to maximize photosynthesis any way you can
- 2018 had the record coldest April and the record warmest May
- The early planted beans (March 16 & 22) took 40 days to come out of the ground, but were the fastest developing crop he had ever seen
- There is a drop off in yield at his location in beans planted later in April
- Beans can sit in the cold ground for a very long time
- If you have a 75-80 average population, the beans will fill in with time; even in uneven stands, they are maximizing yield with the earlier planting dates
- If you do plant beans early, fungicide and insecticide is a must because you will be at higher risk for SDS
- Narrow rows yielded better, even in earlier planting dates
- The 15″ rows with a higher population had a +2.5 bu./ac. advantage and the 30″ rows with a higher population had a +1.3 bu./ac. advantage
- An 8.7% increase in photosynthesis equaled an 8.8% in yield
Another representative from BASF, Jeremy Hogan, Technical Marketing Agronomist, followed Woodyard with a presentation on how to examine critical factors for maximizing corn yields. The key points included:
- We can lose 30-40 bushels just in ear size and weight
- If the ears on a corn stalk are all even like a picket fence, that shows a good, even emergence
- Looking at the saturated cold germination percentage on your seed helps make sound decisions in which variety to plant
- Using a spiked tooth planting disc helps make a difference in closing the furrow
- Last year there was maybe just as much sulfur penalty as there was nitrogen
- Listen to what your corn roots are telling you, there is a lot to learn below ground
- When a plant is under stress it produces ethylene gas to get to the finish line quicker
- If there is red in the stalk, it means you did not run out of nitrogen; it is just the sugar build up
We would also like to thank Brad Moffitt with Ohio Corn & Wheat for sharing with our growers where their checkoff dollars are going and the benefits of becoming members. There was a lot to be learned at this winter meeting and it was a good reminder of the great strides we have made in farming over the past few years. With new research, data, and experiments, we continue to maximize yield and find the practices that work best for each specific operation. It was a pleasure to have the guest speakers we had and we are thankful for all the growers in attendance. If you are looking to incorporate new practices and take a progressive approach this year, please do not hesitate to contact any of our Associate Partners who would be happy to assist you in a plan tailored to your operation.
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