If you read the May issue of Indiana Prairie Farmer, you know that for the rest of the year, we're covering what happens in one 50-plus acre field. You've got your won fields to worry about. Let us scout and make decisions for this one, and maybe you'll pick up a tip or two that can help you on your farm.
Dave Nanda, plant breeder and director of agronomics and technology for Seed Consultants, Inc., will be helping follow the field this summer. Each week beginning Monday, May 7, look for the crop watch logo in our local news section. We'll have an update on the progress of the field. Then look for a Crop Watch article that will zoom in on some aspect related to growing corn in that field in the magazine each month.
Here's the latest update on this field. As noted in the article, the field was chisel plowed in the fall and was in soybeans in 2011. Soils vary from silt loam to clay loam with a small amount of the soil underlain by gravel. There is no irrigation in the field.
This spring, the field was disked once several weeks before planting. Two tons of chicken manure were applied before the field was worked. Then the field was planted directly into a stale seed bed on April 20. That's within the window for achieving 100% of potential yield, according to tables in the Purdue University Corn and Soybean Field Guide.
Since it's still relatively early and soils had cooled off, 10 gallons of 10-34-0 starter were applied at planting. The hybrid was SCS 1138 from Seed Consultants. Since the farmer sells to special markets, it is a non-GMO hybrid.
The farmer prides himself in accurate stands. The planter units were checked and calibrated before the season began. His monitor indicates that he planted 32,271 seeds per acre.
You can gain more than knowledge by following this field. Later this summer we will offer an entry form both on the Web and in print so that you can enter a yield guessing contest for this field. The entire field will be weighed across the scales. That weight will be used to calculate yield per acre in dry bushels.
The more that you follow he progress of the field weekly and in the magazine monthly, the greater the likelihood you can make an educated guess on yield before the entry deadline. Seed Consultants, Inc. will donate 8 bags of seed corn for 2013 for first place, 6 bags for second, and 4 bags for third place.
So watch for the first update of Crop Watch in the local news section here on the web on Monday, May 7.