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6 take-aways from AgPhD Field Day 2021

Dan Luepkes traveled from his Oregon, Illinois, farm this week to network with the 10,000 farmers organizers expected at the AgPhD field day in Baltic, South Dakota. The event, hosted by Brian and Darren Hefty, features a full day of learning sessions and demonstrations from award-winning farmers and leading agriculture companies.

Attendees, including Luepkes, were asking each other about their crops, hoping to gain market insight into how much corn and soybean crop is out there. Severe drought has challenged several top commodity producing states.

“I’m hearing there’s a pretty decent solid crop out there. It’s not a disaster, but it’s not a record crop either. There are a lot of tough areas, but a lot of good corn, too,” Luepkes says.

Kelly Garrett focused on soybeans during his time at the event.

“We are working on our farm at home in western Iowa to get soybean populations lower. I believe we’re planting them too thick, and it’s actually a yield detriment,” Garrett explains.

Farmers who attended the AgPhD Field Day had the opportunity to look at a plot planted with soybean populations ranging from 40,000 to 160,000 plants per acre. Garrett is continuing to search for a way to lower soybean population to raise yield while saving money on seed.

Matt Miles noticed an increased interest in soybeans this year, thanks to higher prices.

“I’ve been very, very surprised to see how many people want to know about soybeans. That’s something that’s special to me, is the soybeans. I’m glad to be able to do anything I can to help any farmer I can to increase their ROI,” says Miles.

As a self-described lifelong learner, Lee Lubbers enjoys learning, and teaching others at the AgPhD field day. He and other members of the XtremeAg team shared their knowledge on several panels throughout the event.

“It’s the greatest feeling in the world when people come up to you and thank you for doing practices that you helped teach them the year prior or two years prior. When they said they raised the best crop they ever have, or they gained 10 more bushels, that’s an incredibly rewarding feeling,” says Lubbers.

Kevin Matthews received several questions from fellow farmers about biologicals and crop heat stress. Other farmers asked him about finishing this crop year strong and gaining kernel size. Matthews and the rest of the XtremeAg team have been addressing these questions in their content all growing season.

“Boron seems to be a hot topic today. How much is too much? Chad Henderson is the man who can answer that question for you,” Matthews laughs. “He likes to kill stuff with boron.”

Chad Henderson summed up the annual event as “good fellowship and good information.”

He was reminded of the importance of using data to make decisions throughout the growing season. “Run the data and technology on this. Tie it into the tissue samples. We don’t make decisions just spur of the pants,” Henderson says.

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