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Get ready to roll

It's finally officially spring and the planters are rolling down South and making their way north. Before you know it, it will be time to kick up some dust and get your 2011 crop planted in the Corn Belt.

Here are some of the latest reports from farmers around the country, as well as some of the latest issues to keep in mind as you get started planting your 2011 crops.

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5 ways to stay up on input costs

Grain prices are high. That's the good news (if you're a grain farmer). But, diesel prices are near record levels, fertilizer's headed up and custom farming rates are climing, too. That's the bad news. So, how can you stay ahead?

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Weeds to watch in 2011

Two years ago, corn harvest was a bear. And now, with the 2011 crop right around the corner, that nightmarish 2009 harvest season isn't going away yet. A problem that the '09 harvest spawned in 2010 will remain an issue again this year.

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Keep dry & don't compact

Last year was a bit of a downer for a lot of corn farmers in Illinois. Yields were lower than expected, mostly because Mother Nature just wasn't very cooperative. Should you expect similar yield losses?

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Adjusting corn plant populations?

Tweaking plant populations is a common approach to try to get more bushels out of each acre, but the potential gains of bumping the number of plants per acre aren't always cut-and-dried.

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Trimming P & K levels? Be careful

Fertilizer prices are climbing, and it may be tempting you to cut back on how much you apply to this year's crop. If you do decide to pull back on how much you put down, take a more surgical approach to avoid losing yield.

 

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