Crops Technology Editor for Successful Farming magazine/


Managing nitrogen key for these farmers

Remember the three Rs of your school days? Reading, w(R)riting, and a(R)ithmetic?

Well, Ron Alverson and son Keith, Chester, South Dakota, have their own R series -- the four Rs of nitrogen (N) management for corn.

  1. Right form.
  2. Right place.
  3. Right time.
  4. Right rate.

It’s not that easy, though. Pegging the optimal N rate for corn often mimics hand-catching a slippery salmon in a fast-flowing stream.

Waterworld South Dakota Style

Farmers often couch when they say, “I wish it would stop raining” because Mother Nature is pretty adept at turning off the faucet during the growing season.

Nitrogen, disease, key factors for 2010 corn

Now that harvest has wrapped up in many areas, there's time to discern what worked in 2010. Here are some agronomic developments that Pioneer Hi-Bred officials discussed during a Carrollton, Missouri, field day.


Late N applications can pay

In many cases, farmers can garner full yields even with late nitrogen (N) applications. Peter Scharf, University of Missouri Extension soil fertility specialist, created this graph that shows the effect of delayed N timing on corn yields.

The data from five states shows that in most cases, full corn yields can occur even if farmers apply N late. This includes no more than 60 pounds per acre of N was applied at planting. Scharf points out the effects of the delay should even be smaller for producers who applied a full N rate and then lost N as the growing season occurred.


Emerging Solutions

Here’s how herbicide-resistant weeds that sprouted in Arkansas may be part of your future without a change.


4 considerations regarding 2011 corn hybrids

It used to be you’d have a few weeks after harvest before thinking about next year’s corn hybrid lineup. No more. The selling season now starts in late summer and is well underway at harvest.

Here are four things to consider and expect as you pick 2011 hybrids that Syngenta Seeds officials discussed during this week’s Syngenta Media Summit.

1) Diversify your hybrid lineup. Planting a diverse group of high-yielding hybrids is a time-tested way to reduce risk against variable weather. But how can you tell you’re indeed planting hybrids with different genetics?