Showing posts from January, 2021

Is Early Maturing Corn Profitable

Many farmers try to maximize yields but is that always the most profitable? Planting early season corn and soybean varieties allows farmers time to plant a cover crop which can add carbon and soil organic matter, protect your soil from erosion, and improve water quality. Generally early maturing crops have less moisture and the test weights are higher, but not always. Often it takes a few more bushels on late maturing crops just to pay the drying costs plus the extra transportation cost in hauling water. One farmer stated it takes an extra man just to keep the drier operating. So, the highest yield on late maturing corn may not always be the most profitable. A DTN article, February 2018 did a comparison of the yield advantage of longer season corn hybrids versus the extra cost of drying. The relationship between corn’s relative maturity (RM) and yield varies around the USA but they calculated a 1% yield difference for each day of relative maturity for most of the northwestern corn belt

Frost Seeding Cover Crops

Frost seeding is broadcasting cover crop seed over a frozen soil surface and letting the freezing and thawing incorporate the seed into the soil profile. For hard seed (seed that is difficult to germinate), the freezing and thawing may break down the seed coat and improve germination. Most small grain fields (wheat, oats, barley, spelt) can be frost seeded but also fields that either had a poor cover crop stand or were not planted in the fall can also be frost seeded. Generally, small grain fields that have less than ideal stands are the best candidates for frost seeding cover crops. When the small grain crop is thick and yields are high, there is little sunlight and the grain competes with cover crop establishment.There are several benefits to frost seeding. Soil damage is minimized by driving on frozen ground with lighter vehicles. Small tractors and ATV’s with broadcast spreaders can cover a lot of ground very efficiently, which saves fuel. The best time to frost seed is early morni