The 2011 growing season has come to an end. It was a year that challenged the norm and provided us with many learning experiences. Many of those challenges were out of our control.
As you prepare for winter, attend meetings, and start to plan your farming operation for 2012, it will be important to understand the key initiatives that will help make the year successful.
Spend some time discussing your farming practices with your FS certified crop specialist. Over the last couple of years, these specialists have learned the limitations and the potential of pursuing maximum yield on your acres.
They have adopted practices that utilize a well-balanced nutrient program and the use of products to maximize the nutrient potentials.
In the last few weeks, growers have put on a record amount of nitrogen. Many of those acres are using a nitrogen management system by incorporating a nitrogen stabilizer that keeps nitrogen available to meet the needs of the corn plant.
We continue to learn about other products available to stabilize nitrogen and increase efficacy of other macronutrients. Before making fertilizer decisions, contact your crop specialist and let him/her recommend how to increase your profitability and help protect that yield potential.
We continue to watch commodity prices and the correlation to the use of a fungicide over the corn and/or soybean acre. With the increase in fungicide applications this past year, your crop specialist is starting to identify the hybrids and/or varieties which respond to that application.
Some of the biotic stress that the corn plant goes through is mitigated by the use of fungicide, resulting in greater stalk strength, better standability, higher grain quality at harvest, and protected yield potential.
We need to continue to use integrated pest management practices so that resistance to the diseases that we see almost every year does not occur. New products are being introduced that use different modes of action, but we have learned weed resistance can develop.
Consider this: What’s the maximum yield potential attainable on your farm? Your FS crop specialist has been asked that question, and more importantly, he or she has the tools and knowledge to lead you in the right direction. Let’s take the successes from 2011 and incorporate them into 2012.
Jeff Bunting is GROWMARK’s crop protection marketing manager. His e-mail address is email@example.com