Farmers Prepare for 2011 Planting Season

Agronomist recommends diverse genetic lineup.

Published on: Nov 30, 2010

Many farmers across the Midwest are taking a hard look at this year's crops, considering if they should have done something differently because of variations in moisture, temperatures and a variety of other considerations. Also, they are talking to their neighbors and friends to find out how their crops faired. Then they will talk to seed company representatives asking them what worked and what didn't work in their seed lineup. And finally, many farmers will take a hard look at how their seed company's competition faired.

Most agree, planting a diverse lineup of hybrids with varying maturities can help growers achieve the best overall yield potential and spread harvest dates. According to Mike Rupert, agronomy research manager for Pioneer, planting a range of maturities allows a grower to stagger planting and harvest dates to take advantage of optimum conditions or to avoid growing-season stresses.

"A diverse genetic lineup is key for minimizing risk from diseases while maximizing yield potential," Rupert said. "A grower may plant one hybrid that resists diseases in a disease-prone field, while choosing another that features higher yield potential for a field where disease pressure historically is light. Taking extra time to determine the right product for the right acre helps spread risk."