Ideas that should work this spring

Here are two quick-read ideas that might apply in 2010.

First, Scott Ebelhor says since there’s more residue, it’s worth rethinking how to best apply nitrogen.

“If you broadcast 28% N, it might get tied up in the residue more than normal,” Ebelhor says. He manages Beck’s Hybrids Practical Farm Research near Ft. Branch. “Consider putting 28% on with the planter instead, then sidedressing the rest.”

The idea is to inject N and bypass surface residue.

If you drive by Sonny Beck’s farm and someone is driving a planter across a planted field, don’t be alarmed. Most likely he’s trying to help more seedlings get through crusted soil.

“We’ve tried rotary hoeing, and it just isn’t consistent,” says Beck, Atlanta. “We run the planter back in the same rows. It works, especially with RTK guidance.”

If the planter is equipped with no-till attachments, get them out of the way. You may push over 5% to 10% of the emerged seedlings, but odds are you’ll free thousands more, Beck observes.

He improved a stand from 6,000 plants per acre to 18,000.

This article published in the April, 2010 edition of INDIANA PRAIRIE FARMER.

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