Use long-term trends as 2013 planning guide
Many producers use the past season as a guide for planning for the next one, but that isn’t the best policy for growers who want to get the most from each acre, says a DuPont Pioneer crop production expert. Instead, it’s best to plan for next year by looking at the long-term weather trends.
“This past growing season was obviously extremely dry for most growers across the Corn Belt and many of them are suffering from the drought as they plan for harvest – and the next growing season,” says Brent Wilson, DuPont Pioneer technical services manager. “But weather changes from year to year and we can’t predict the next growing season. Rather than using this year’s drought as a guide, growers should look at several seasons and rely on that information to make decisions.”
Wilson offered these suggestions for growers at a forum at the Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa.
Seed product selection for the following year is on most growers’ mind this time of year and following harvest. Wilson reminds producers that 2012 was not a typical year in most regions and suggests relying on years prior to 2012 for product selection and placement. He says making product selections based on one year of experience alone may not be a sound strategy.
“If you do want to hedge your bets against drier weather next year, you may want to ask your Pioneer sales professional about Pioneer brand Optimum AQUAmax products, which were developed for water-limited environments, but also offer top-end yield potential in optimal growing conditions,” says Wilson. “This past season, we’ve seen growers benefit from these products, compared to conventional hybrids.
“Another suggestion is to contact your seed professional early in the season to make sure you’re able to reserve the products you want on your acres.”
Wilson says that Pioneer expects to have a good supply of quality seed for growers for 2013 planting. The company has grown seed across the Corn Belt, from Ohio to Nebraska, in varying growing conditions. In addition, more than two-thirds of its seed production acres were irrigated this past year. Pioneer will evaluate supply and determine how much to grow in South America over the winter to provide supply for its growers.
As far as fertilizer application for 2013, most growers planned for a larger crop than they realized, says Wilson, and they should use grain removal as a guide for phosphorous and potassium application. Due to the drought, there may be opportunities to take nitrogen credits going into next year. Nitrogen is mobile with soil moisture and may move or disappear with wetter soils. Waiting until spring to apply nitrogen may allow better decisions on how much nitrogen may be available for the following crop.