Overcoming Challenges of Growing Corn

(Tori) Hello, my name is Tori Dickinson. I farm in Oswego, Kansas along the Neosho River. I farm about 2,500 acres, 1,000 of it is on the river bottom. This year we took on this new farm, it’s 140 acres and it used to be a native grass. The people that recently purchased it, they came in, they burnt it down, and they asked us if we would farm it. One of the selling points that they liked was the fact that I use 20-inch rows and I am one of the few farmers in this area, most farmers are still on 30-inch rows. And this year it’s going to be a challenge because first of all the river’s always a challenge. The river came out once, it got over probably about 10 acres of this ground. I have in the past had the river completely engulf all my ground and that’s a big challenge. The other challenge is the fact that with all this being native grass at one time, the grass is going to keep growing because it is really hard to kill the rhizomes. There are all kinds of rhizomes here from the bluestem and they’re going to keep re-sprouting just like Johnson Grass does. Another thing, another challenge is the fact that because this was in prairie hay or a prairie grass before, is there’s wireworms that could possibly be in the ground. Cutworms may be an issue. The seed that I planted this year, I planted some Pioneer and I planted some NuTech on this farm and it was all treated for cutworms but wireworms is one insect that you don’t treat your seed for. Wireworms are a challenge this year because we didn’t get this ground until middle March and normally we have all of our ground worked and we have then anhydrous on, we have fertilizer on, but this year we didn’t get it until after the fact and we still had to work the ground which was a challenge because this ground really, in my opinion, needed to be deep ripped and we weren’t able to do that in the short timeframe we had. So we got the corn planted, we planted 32,500 and we fertilized it. We would love to have a 200 bushel yield but if we get 150-175 I’ll be satisfied but anything over 200 I’d be ecstatic. It’s really a fun farm. This is new; the challenge is going to be the weed pressure, the insect pressure from the wireworms. That is something that needed to be treated in the soil two weeks prior to planting and this year we didn’t have that option. Next year when we come out here, we’ll plant corn again and wireworms are something that we will treat for.

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