Brian Hefty is co-host of the TV show “Ag PhD”; a Baltic, S.D., farmer; and a seed and chemical retailer. He’s also an advocate for tiling and has spoken to several farm groups in the Dakotas this summer about tiling. He also recently made a presentation to a South Dakota legislative committee. Here he answers some reader's questions.
The spring of 2012 brought agronomists across the state thousands of questions about cornfields that initially emerged relatively evenly but soon began looking worse. Fields looked decent from VE to around V2 to V3 growth stage, but then uneven spots started to show up. When the corn reached about V5 to V7, the better plants really took off, and the bad areas looked like they were “stalling out.”
Stand at the edge of Ralph and Marvin Biehle’s grain setup, and you look down over a small valley and up toward the next hill. Pasture extends down the hill, with barns and silos on the other side. Far off in the distance is a cornfield. And behind it is one of the most important resources on the farm — a pond.
Landowners and producers in Texas never could have predicted 2011’s severe drought conditions that impacted small and large operations alike.