Monday, December 5, 2011

What To Plant?

I see some farmers are struggling with what to plant next year. One poster asked the question yesterday on crop talk about going more soybeans in Kentucky because his corn has been blowing down and he can't harvest it. It costs too much to grow corn and have it blow down. That blows down your profit.

In my travels the last month I can also see farmers are in denial over resistant weeds. They don't want to admit they have them or that RR soybeans may not be the most profitable soybean or any crop for them.

A local farmer just finished his large soybean harvest and his best beans were LL by as much as 10 bushels per acre. I think most of that yield increase came from weed control. The LL system addresses the huge resistant weed problem we have in this neighborhood.

But where do you find yield data? There are no LL soybean trials in the newly released Ohio State Performance trial but there is a ton of other data in it.

Me, I would rather have had more 200 bushel corn and sold it at $7 which many farmers did. It didn't blow down and that made more money than everything around here. That beats 60 bushel LL soybeans at $14 per bushel, the highest price we could have sold for this year.

180 bu corn at $6 and 50 bushel soybeans at $12 is much more reasonable to have expected last year but we didn't know that the first week of June when we finally got to plant. How can a farmer know what to plant next year with all the risks and unknown?

Crop rotation and chemical rotation seems to be the answer to me. Keep rotating your crops and don't overuse any one chemistry to control weeds. If you had RR beans the past years, try the LL system or go back to non GMO beans. If you had corn blow down, plant a little more soybeans and see how that works.

I have my crop rotation figured out and it is heavier on corn this year. If I can't get it planted I have crop insurance or soybeans to go to. I am not locked in any one position.

That feels best for me and I think I have the numbers to prove it.

We all need to plant more cover crops. That 190 bushel corn Steve grew with no purchased N and what Dave Brandt has accomplished impresses my bottom line more than farming like I used to.


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