Dustin Conrad, Corn Planting

(Dustin) Good morning, my name is Dustin Conrad. We’re out here in central Kansas, outside of Solomon. We’re wrapping up some of our corn planting for 2016 year. We’re putting in a plot right now of different varieties. We have a couple of numbers from Stine Seed, Pioneer Seed, Olde Seed, and Hoegemeyer Seed also. We’re putting 14-35-10-2 mix on starter. We’re just planting a solid rate through the plot of 23,000. Last year this field was harvested as soybeans. It was double crop beans, that we strip tilled it last Fall with no fertilizer. We’ll put the fertilizer on this summer in our applicator, rolling applicator. We do that for the…we have a grant that we’re involved with that the theory is to only apply a third of fertilizer within 30 days prior to planting or after. A few years ago we decided to start strip tilling out here on our farm. We’ve been 100 percent no till for 20 years plus. We tried it out, saw quite a bit of a yield gain out of it. Plus there’s lots of intangible benefits, like this year we’ve noticed that we’re able to get into the field a little earlier and start planting. It’s early April right now and the soil temperature in the strip till is 62 degrees and out of the strip till is about 58. That allows us to plant a little earlier to get the corn up and tassled before the really hot, dog days of August get here, which we’ve noticed quite a bit of a yield gain out of just that fact alone. Another thing that we like about the strip till is that we have the ability to variable rate fertilizer with our machine and we like to have it as banding down in the strip till so the plants can absorb that nitrogen later in the Summer. Later this week we’ll be over-planting a field and we’re going to do a population study for K-State. We’ve been involved with them for about three years on doing population studies. We usually do three repetitions of each population-one at a lower number at about 14,000, one at 16,000 and then 20, 22, 24 and 28. Then we usually sometimes do a higher rate of 30. It’s an on-farm research that we do with them that has taught me and my boss quite a bit about controlling seeding rates for corn. This Fall we’ll harvest this plot and we’ll have a weigh wagon out here to study each, get an exact yield of every variety, which that can determine what varieties we plant next year. This is the third year we’ve done a study with K-State. The first year we determined that our farm average was 24,000 population. Through the K-State study we actually determined that a lower seeding rate in central Kansas climates, it would be more effective and efficient for population, for cost of input versus yield. So we actually, the second year, decided for a farm average we lowered it to 22,000. Which then we learned last year because of the amount of rain that we had… that it wasn’t high enough. But this year we’ll see what results we get and that’s why we’re doing a five-year study total to check against rainfall.

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