Benefits of Different Planting Sytems

(Ignacio Ciampitti) We start talking and communicating with Great Plains with ideas of showing farmers what are the benefits of using different planting systems and also talking about weed control. (Doug Conley) The weed control, we cut down that space to a 22-inch space and we saw it in the plants down there, and if you look at the plot, you can see the difference here, and it’s something that I hadn’t thought about until you really pointed that out, as far as in the plot itself, I knew that was a possibility but it really did show when we looked at the plot today. (Ignacio) And I think that if you start seeing the challenges that farmers are facing today in weed control, I think that we will be seeing positive benefits, if we can intercept more light, at least for one to 10 days, because the whole concept is on 30-inch rows the time those plants will take to cover the canopy will be longer. So when you’re looking at plants, how they are being equally spaced in a diagonal pattern, those they will tend to cover the canopy much faster. (Doug) Yes, I think there’s a lot of truth to that, and I think it leads us also Ignacio, in to if we can improve row spacing and improve drought tolerance, we can use corn for control of weeds a lot more than what we have been and corn can be a more effective crop for us. Lets us go back to wheat. There are so many advantages to corn if we can get the yield up to where it’s as profitable as milo. (Ignacio) It’s good that you point out the crop rotation, because I think that you make a very interesting point on the idea of how we can intensify, because the whole concept of being in an environment that is dry, but still we can intensify rotation, and rather than just have weeds, we can have crops. And I think one of the most important points that we would like to see this year is about water conservation. We talk a little bit about water conservation and in this environment we really need to emphasize this point again. We want to make sure that we are effective in having those plants intercepting light and having those plants consuming the water, not the weeds. (Doug) Yes. What I’ve seen is, we are able to control the weed pressure and those type of things if we add the double crop soybeans in there into the rotation on the bottom ground. It just allows us to do some things. (Ignacio) But when you are looking at the yields from last year, so can you just briefly give us some idea what yields we experienced last year on those plots. (Doug) We took 11 varieties that were provided by, Channel C gave us the 11 varieties that they wanted to test in a hybrid plot, and that’s how we started. And when Matthew Everhart approached me to do a hybrid plot on some ground that we had along the highway, as we evolved into a 30-inch eight rows, 30-inch twin rows, eight rows side by side test on all 11 hybrids. And then we also did a variable population study on the other end. And what we found was across the plot is we had about a nine bushel advantage to the twin rows at the same populations. So that was kind of shocking to me, because I didn’t think at 22,800 that we were going to have that kind of response, but we did and so that definitely made me want to continue with what we are doing and the yields, the plot average, we went anywhere in the plot state and I don’t remember the numbers exactly, but somewhere around 120 to 200, and 155 bushel average, but again a nine bushel advantage and I think that even at three dollar corn that becomes pretty hard to ignore, and maybe it lets us put some corn on some upland soils when we even out the population, and really low at 12 to16, 18,000 that we couldn’t do before. (Ignacio) And I think that one of the things that reminds me the data I was looking at last year, is again seeding the optimal density as a message to all our audience and seeding the best hybrid. Because depending on what hybrid you have, we see some difference. On those two points are things that we have under control. (Doug) So this year, what we did is, is we went through those hybrids that we used last year and picked out three that had a high response, a medium response and a fairly low response, and we said, all right how are we going — we took three replications at three different populations as a side-by-side eight rows, so now we have a — we’re refining that test down to what do we want to do with the twins. (Ignacio) Yes and the idea was trying to make sure that we get some replications so we’re going to start showing to the people, even to our farmers. So then we are doing some testing, we are doing the testing of showing these are the hybrids that they might have different responses and the different densities, but we also have the replication factor that it would provide more solidifying trend for all the information that is coming from those plots.

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