Ready or Not

Larry Veith, Seed Specialist, Plainview/St Charles (507) 923-5628

Crop planting time in SE Minnesota is just about here for the corn and soybean crop. We have had tremendous yields in recent years, and if Mother Nature cooperates as she has been doing, there is no reason this year should be any different. Technology, including better equipment and hybrids, as well as improved understanding about crop input needs and timing has taken us forward to unimaginable yield levels from just a few years ago. There is no turning back! Profit margins are thin at best, and improved efficiencies are really the only way to stay profitable consistently outside of a crop disaster.


Planting your crop is indeed one of the most critical management decisions of the season. You need to have your game plan ready, and make sure that it is the best one possible under your current situation. I can’t stress enough that the planter needs to be your # 1 priority. You normally get one chance to do it right, so make sure you do NOT overlook the details. Consistent emergence is absolutely vital to maximize yield, followed by seed drop consistency and planting depth. Make sure you have tested your meters, checked for worn parts, and give your planter and monitors a thorough going over. The one major item needed to be stressed in planting is planting depth. You should never plant shallower than 1.5”, but the IDEAL planting depth, under normal circumstances is 1.75” to 2”. This depth is necessary for proper root formation and development, as the root is the foundation of the plant. Without a strong base, other management strategies may well be compromised throughout the season.

NCGA Corn Growers Contest

We encourage growers to challenge their management styles and strategies and enter the NCGA Corn Growers Yield Contest. Planting a DEKALB hybrid purchased through Progressive Ag Center, LLC will cost you nothing to enter.

Contact Jared Tabor or myself to get more details, but know the entry deadline is usually late June, so you don’t have to do that up front….BUT, you do need to plan for making perhaps a few changes in your contest field or fields to try and maximize production.

Having a field within your operation for you to “test” some new strategies on can be very rewarding in many ways. We have some general as well as specific ideas which can lead to yield improvements without putting you in the red, and may stretch your ideas on what you may or may not believe is possible in your operation. It is a NO RISK, HIGH REWARD way of experimenting with new strategies that may well be what “ keeps you in the game “.

  • The first component in trying a new, higher yielding strategy for the NCGA Corn Growers Contest is pick a field that is generally fertile and well drained. Corn following soybeans or alfalfa is ideal.
  • Early planting pays, so make it one of your first fields to plant, but only if the soil is truly ready to plant. You can’t rush a good thing.
  • Planting populations will need to be a minimum of 35,000, but more likely in the 36-38,000 range, Ideal fields can even support 40,000 seeds per acre or more, but this requires some other management strategies that will need to be incorporated.
  • Weed control, fungicide, micronutrients and side dressing will likely be needed as part of the “game plan “.

Give the NCGA Corn Growers Yield Contest a try in 2017. It is a great learning experience, and if all goes well, you will certainly be rewarded. Contact any one of the Progressive Ag Center agronomy team or seed team for further details.

Be safe, enjoy what you do, and smile. You are a vital part of feeding the world, so be PROUD!        



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