December 7, 2015
The holiday season is upon us and it is time to start looking towards the next growing season. An interesting place to start is, of course, commodity prices. With national yield totals for corn and soybeans quite high, and above expectations, prices have dropped and look to be staying low for the foreseeable future. With that in mind, balancing revenue as well as cost per acre will be a juggling act as you try to make decisions. How will your cropping plans change from 2015 to 2016?
Controlling costs is an important aspect of managing any business. The multitude of expenditures farms encounter make staying on top of costs per acre imperative. But, continuing to do agronomic practices that help drive yield which in turn drives income is still essential to being a profitable business. As you work with your local FS Crop Specialist on your 2016 cropping plan this prepay season, here are a few key things to consider in your discussion.
Selecting the best hybrid and varieties to place on your farm with value added traits is a huge first step in your 2016 success. Genetics set the yield potential for your farm and proper seed selection is the first step. Protecting that seed investment, especially in soybeans, with seed treatments will allow you to have a higher percentage of emerged plants versus planted population, lower replants and more potential in every acre. Managing, and hopefully eliminating, early weed competition with pre-emergent residual products gives you a better yield foundation and allows you a broader window for post herbicide applications. With more resistant weeds in more areas, multiple modes of action and varying application timing are important. Fungicide applications can help you gain big returns in both corn and soybeans. Significant yield gains have been measured and documented for many years but don't neglect to consider the benefits of better stand ability and harvest efficiency. How might multiple applications of nitrogen and looking at how micro nutrients may help in unlocking yield potential are options to consider and discuss.
Challenge your Crop Specialist to discuss new innovations to maximize every acre. Cost control is important, but remember, revenue generation is the best way to turn red ink into black ink in the end. Best wishes on a Happy Holiday Season and Prosperous 2016.
Lance Ruppert is GROWMARK's director, strategic agronomy marketing. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.