Friday, January 30, 2009
What Worked in 2008
I have been asked many times what worked well last year. I made a list and look forward to your email and comments!
Old technology worked best in these parts!
Conventional soybeans, conventional herbicides, conventional corn.
The best new technology we have seen was 32 bu more no till corn after radishes with many farmers reporting 10-40 bushel increases.
8 and 10 bu more no till soybeans after annual ryegrass or radishes. Soybean cyst nematode and weed populations were reduced.
The new soybean inoculants continued to pay great returns on investment, 3-4 bu again this year and some reporting increases over 10 bushels per acre.
Seed treatments paid on early no till soybeans but not on later plantings.
Higher soybean yields came from lower populations if you controlled the weeds.
Seed quality was of utmost importance, some soybean lots really suffered!
Foliar fungicides were all over the board, great returns to no returns. I continue to think they pay in diseased fields and high yield environments.
Good soybean headers and sharp sickle bars paid good dividends as did corn reels and up to date corn heads.
Very few farmers spread the chaff past the width of the header and that still continues to be our number one challenge in harvesting. The narrow bands of residue change soil and pest conditions for years.
Resistant weeds cause great yield losses here, thus the conventional herbicides or combined with RR system is recommended. 10 bushel losses to marestail was reported.
LL beans look exciting, we will grow some for seed in 2009.
Marketing was the big dollar loss or gain this year. Not near enough of us sold beans at $12-16, corn at $7, wheat at $10. We convinced ourselves our crop was sick while we watched prices tumble with oil and stocks.
Farm owned sprayers and spraying with the right pesticide or foliar product paid good dividends.
Combine residue spreading continues to be a failure across the country as we band our residue(yes I said this twice!)
What worked or didnn't work for you?
I am curious to know!