Harvest Land’s Top 10 Tips for Growing High Yielding Corn

Sound management decisions go a long way to help farmers secure yields and return on investment when growing corn. At Harvest Land, we offer a full consultative approach in which our YieldPro team prescribes a field-by-field plan for each year. Through the experience of our trained salespeople and input from our expert agronomists we have come up with our top recommendations for growing high yielding corn in our trade area.

  1. Hybrid Selection

Select hybrids from more than one maturity group for risk management and to spread out the workload at planting and harvest time. Choose hybrids with consistently high-yield _DSC0537corn ratings, good standability, strong disease resistance, and a range of maturities. Our trained sales staff can also walk you through the Characterization Charts to show the data from WinField United  Answer Plots across the united states, and local plots, to help assist you in your hybrid selection.

  1. Seed Genetics

Plant hybrids that have shown good yield trial results, plus your tried-and-true hybrids. Seed genetics with built-in herbicide tolerance traits can significantly enhance control of a broad range of tough-to-manage grasses and broadleaf weeds. Diversify hybrid choices to spread risk with a range of maturities and insect and disease susceptibilities.

  1. Seed Treatments

Today’s seed treatments can protect against diseases, insect pests and nematodes to help _dsc0768get young corn plants off to a good start. The wide range of products available can be confusing. Your Harvest Land YieldPro Specialist can help you make good economic decisions focused on the pests you are most concerned with.

 

  1.  Season-long Weed Control

Starting clean with a solid burndown program and/or tillage is critical.  Aim to control weeds before they reach 4 inches in height. Larger weeds are more difficult to control and compete more tenaciously with corn seedlings for sunlight, soil, water and other nutrients. “Driver weeds” like tall waterhemp and marestail usually take a special program (higher cost) for adequate control.

  1. Fertility

Top yields can only be achieved with a solid nutrient management program.  Proper nitrogen fertilizer practices are critical for high-yielding corn. YieldPro has proven to be a YieldPro_4Cvery effective program to prescribe field-specific programs to achieve this goal.

  1. Planting

Consider geography, weather and individual field conditions, such as drainage, when deciding if it’s fit to plant. Recommended planting dates for corn tend to range from early April to early May. Spring weather can change quickly from cool and wet to dry and warm. Planting when the field is too heavy can cause uneven emergence and potential yield reduction due to poor stands and soil compaction issues later in the season.

  1. Seeding Rate

Follow your seed company’s recommendations because there are many variables, such as Agronomy_Looking at plant-2soil types, different hybrid maturity dates and yield potential on various soil types. Seeding rates are a decision best made field-by-field. The Characterization Charts your trained Harvest Land salesperson has access to, can help you decide the optimal seeding rate for your soil type and management style.

  1. Field Scouting

Spotting problems in the crop is imperative.  Check fields early and often for emerging weeds, diseases and insects to help guide treatment decisions and economic thresholds.  Season-long management of weed, disease and insect pests in corn will aid your goal for best return on investment at the end of the growing season. The YieldPro team has the solution for your scouting and diagnostic needs.

  1. Plant Health

dld-4751Fungicides are a valuable tool.  Planned fungicide use helps prevent disease pressure from negatively impacting yields especially in a no-till situation with higher residue or in fields that were planted to corn the year prior.  Every hybrid purchased through Harvest Land will have a response to fungicide rate which will prove valuable in accessing the need for an application. The other option is to “wait and see”, but timely field scouting is critical.

  1. Resistance Management

Use diversified management practices to manage resistance to herbicides, fungicides and insecticides. Select products from different classes of chemistries that attack multiple, effective sites of action. Refer to sources such as Herbicide Resistance Action Committee (HRAC), Fungicide Resistance Action Committee (FRAC) and Insecticide Resistance Action Committee (IRAC).

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During this undesirable economic time, it is imperative every decision you make for your farm is thought through and driven to make you a positive ROI. Mother Nature cannot be totally predicted or controlled, but we can do all that we can to ensure our crop can perform to the best of its ability in all situation. High yielding corn can be achieved by taking pieces from this article and personalizing it to your fields. Our YieldPro team, trained sales staff, and expect agronomists can help you navigate these decisions and achieve your yield goals.

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Hidden Gem: Greenfield Store

If you travel down US 40,

to Greenfield, the heart of Hancock County, Indiana,

just south west of the town square where the courthouse sits,

you’ll find one of Harvest Land’s best kept secrets:

Our Greenfield Store.

Located at 230 W. Osage Street, the Greenfield Store has a boundless selection of home, garden and farm supplies, livestock must-haves and even unique gifts for anyone on your list. This week we want to give you a glimpse into everything (well, not everything…we didn’t have time to photograph the impressive feed selection, or the variety of mulches available for all your spring needs) available at our Greenfield Store.

See something you like? Harvest Land will get it to your local ag center for fast and convenient pick up!

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Premium grass seed, Handy (and tacky!) straw to keep the seed in place, lawn starter fertilizer, weed killers to rid your yard and garden of even the toughest ones and a large variety of garden fertilizers.

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And my personal favorite: Wilt Stop. This stuff basically brings your plants back to health when your thumb ins’t so green.

Calling all stock show parents and 4-Hers! The Greenfield Store has nylon halters and neck ropes, show sticks, pipes, adhesive, paint, curry combs, brushes, soaps and washes, sheep blankets, tags, and a huge selection of Sullivan Supplies and Weaver Leather Livestock products.

Of course, we wouldn’t leave out the family favorite. We have pet supplies, toys, dishes, feeders, medication, treatments, hygiene products and more.

Plus pigs’ ears and cow hooves – if they’re into that sort of thing.

 

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We thought about highlighting the horse supplies with the rest of the livestock stuff, but there are certain rules against grouping the two together.

Fence supplies, grooming supplies and washes, fly spray, nutrition, salt and mineral: The Greenfield Store is your one-stop shop for all things equine.

We’re proud to carry a full portfolio of CountryMark oils, greases and lubricants. Stop outside and fill up your tank at our fuel station while you’re here and treat your vehicle to premium CountryMark fuels.

The store carries Lindner United, VitaFerm, Tribute, Purina, Kalmbach and more products to ensure your livestock have what they need to get started, reproduce, grow and perform. Can’t find what you need? Tell Cathy and she’ll get it ordered for you.

(MADE IN THE USA) Corinthian Bells wind chimes, absolutely unique bird houses and feeders, shatterproof gazing balls and enough bird feed to fill a smorgasbord: We have it. Also, see the little red barn bird feeder, above? It is squirrel proof. You could make an afternoon of watching squirrels fail at robbing the roost.

Let’s talk about how awesome these Surreal birch planters are. They’re not real wood! You don’t have to cut down a tree to get this kind of style around your yard! These creative planters are a favorite and we hope you come check them out as you prepare for spring sprucing.

Further details, pricing and more supplies are available by calling the store at 317.462.5551. Again, you don’t have to step foot in the door to take advantage of all the Greenfield Store has to offer – we’ll get it to you!

Oh, and before you leave, it might be a good idea to run any upcoming birthdays through your head. You’re welcome.

230 W. Osage St. Greenfield, IN 46160
317.462.5551
M-F 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday 7:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Closed Sunday

 

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Finding Balance in the 2%

On Tuesday night Harvest Land was a sponsor of the 2018 Wayne County Rural Urban Banquet. This is a treasured tradition in the area, where people who dwell within the city limits share a meal and fellowship with those who make a living out on a country mile. For decades this event has brought farmers, business owners, elected officials and rural route residents to the table. It is a very popular event in east central Indiana.

This year was special in that the keynote speaker was Zippy Duvall, President of HPraerNi_400x400the National Farm Bureau Federation. Zippy is a third-generation farmer from Georgia. In addition to a 400-head beef cow herd for which he grows his own hay, Duvall and his wife, Bonnie, also grow more than 750,000 broilers per year. Have you ever eaten at Chick-fil-A? Chances are you enjoyed one of his birds.
Zippy delivered a fantastic address regarding the current state of government affairs in Washington and the issues on the table that will matter in agriculture, and in turn affect the food on tables in homes and restaurants. Though a large majority of the evening crowd may feel a disconnection to agriculture, the truth is that it affects nearly every aspect of their life, including food, clothing, energy and more.

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Many are familiar with the fact that only 2% of Americans farm today. Decades ago nearly every American family tended a garden because they had to; they depended on it year-around for fresh and canned produce. Today, most who have a garden do so because they enjoy the work and art of growing food for their family to enjoy. Gardens are no longer mandatory for feeding a family (much like 20 hens, a dairy cow, a beef steer, a hog, etc. also were) because the two-percent grow enough for food the rest of us.

The 2% of Americans farm, which gives 98% of Americans the freedom to do other things.

Other things, such as a chef who prepares a meal for new, exhausted parents who haven’t left the house in more than three weeks.

Other things, such as the 911 dispatcher who calmly answers the phone and talks to a terrified stranger on the other end of the line.

Other things, such as the child protective services employee who removes a child from an unimaginable home situation.

librarian with kids in libraryOther things, such as the librarian who encourages a child to put down an iPad and pick up a book, opening up a whole new world.

Other things, such as the generator installer who worked all night so a doctor’s office had restored power by the time the doors opened at 7:30 AM.

Other things, such as the fraud prevention officer at the bank who watches account information so that money within savings accounts stay there.

Other things, such as the fire fighter who runs into a burning building when everyone else is running out.

Other things, such as the loan officer who finds the way to loan a few bucks to a newlywed couple trying to buy their first home.

Other things, such as the tow truck driver who doesn’t sleep when snow falls, roads freeze or potholes get the best of another highway traveler.

2% of Americans farm, which gives 98% of Americans the freedom to do so many other, important things.

While 2% and 98% seem awfully off balance, if you consider the many admirable things others do outside of agriculture, you’ll realize that the work tends to balance. Harvest Land is grateful to be a part of events, such as the Rural Urban Banquet, that allow us to come together for an evening and remember that.

 

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Growth for Advocacy

Last week a group of Harvest Land farmer-members and employees attended the Land O’Lakes Annual meeting in Minneapolis. During this meeting our representative group was part of the launch of Growth for Advocacy.

Growth for Advocacy is a program based around Land O’ Lakes’ vision of an increasing dialogue with consumers in regards to modern agriculture practices and how those of us within agriculture can become better storytellers.

 

LOL Annual 2018
Growth for Advocacy Attendees Included:
Front row: Jessica Naylor, Beth Vansickle, Melanie Caldwell, Kevin Antrim, Brandi Doan, Jeremy Myers, Chris Myers, Amy Circle, Scott Logue (CEO, in attendance for annual meeting only)
Back row: Gene Tapalman (Director, in attendance for annual meeting only), Bob Newhouse (Director, in attendance for annual meeting only), Curt Naylor, Dave Vansickle, Tom Caldwell, Kyle Brooks, Eric Doan, Sean Younclaus, Case Circle

David Vansickle, YieldPro Specialist from our Lapel Ag Center, and his wife, Beth, participated in this program.

“I am very thankful for the opportunity presented to me by the Harvest Land Board and senior leadership to attend the Land O’ Lakes Annual Meeting and Growth for Advocacy,” said Vansickle. “I was able to come away from these three days in Minneapolis with a deeper understanding and appreciation for all of the components of Land O’ Lakes and how they work to help both farmer profitability, but also those at the local co-op.  Growth for Advocacy inspired and taught me to, not only be more proactive in helping to tell the story of modern agriculture across different platforms, but also how to be strategic in my approach.”

 

The purpose of the program is to ensure that our voices, as those directly involved in agriculture, are heard.  That includes anything from social media, to setting up farm visits in our area for schools or communities to visit and learn.  It is also a way to become more involved at a national level by working with Land O’Lakes and doing advocacy in Washington DC by meeting with elected officials.

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With a constant, cyclical list of things to do through out the year in order to plant, grow and harvest a successful crop, it is very easy for farmers to worry about their own operation and believe that someone else takes care of thinking through rules and regulations.

But in reality, the most powerful voices in agriculture at all levels are the farmers, themselves.

Companies like Land O’Lakes can tell the story, but it is far more powerful hearing the stories from the farmers because the decisions made by legislatures will affect their livelihood.

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Additionally, the group was reminded that it is very easy to consider those that are anti-GMO, or supportive of antibiotic-free meat and just tell them they are flat out wrong.  However,  there is so much power in having the ability to listen to their reasoning, and then educate them on the facts. Perhaps not to necessarily to change their mind on the spot, but to encourage them to do more research than just what they may hear or see on Facebook.

Harvest Land President and CEO, Scott Logue, was attending the Annual Meeting and able to visit with Growth for Advocacy participants.

“Harvest Land had the greatest showing of advocates from any other cooperative in the United States,” he reported. “This proves our commitment to being a positive and educational voice for the agriculture industry far past our own farm gates. I’m grateful for the group of Harvest Land farmer-members and employees who made this trip to represent our cooperative. Now, we’ll work to apply the principles learned and become better advocates for an industry that offers so much to our communities and the world.”

 

 

 

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The Final Chapter of the GMO Argument?

GMOs have been in the news lately, and for once, it’s been positive press.

For nearly twenty years, genetically modified organisms have attracted negative attention brought on by poorly informed non-experts with access to the masses. Ah, the power of modern day social media.

But as of late, a series of articles have supported the benefits, safety and value of genetically modified organisms. It is thought that this public breakthrough could finally put to bed the argument of the safety of GMOs to human health. Additionally, a well-known, brilliant billionaire has weighed in, giving GMOs a boost in the right direction in public eye.

The Breakthrough:

A recent meta-analyses, which sorted through hundreds or thousands of studies (how would you like to have that job?) to separate the fact from the noise and draw surer conclusions from scientific data, compared GMO corn with conventional varieties.

The analysis of over 6,000 peer-reviewed studies covering 21 years of data found that GMO corn increased yields up to 25 percent and dramatically decreased dangerous food contaminants. The study analyzed field data from 1996, when the first GMO corn was planted, through 2016 in the United States, Europe, South America, Asia, Africa and Australia.

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Key findings:

  • GMO corn varieties increased crop yields 5.6 to 24.5 percent relative to their non-GMO equivalents
  • GMO corn crops had lower percentages of mycotoxins (-28.8 percent), which can lead to economic losses and harm human and animal health. What exactly are mycotoxins?:
    • Mycotoxins, chemicals produced by fungi, are both toxic and carcinogenic to humans and animals. A significant percentage of non-GM and organic corn contain small amounts of mycotoxins. These chemicals are often removed by cleaning in developing countries, but the risk still exists.Genetically modified  corn has substantially fewer mycotoxins because the plants are modified to experience less crop damage from insects. Insects weaken a plant’s immune system and make it more susceptible to developing the fungi that produce mycotoxins.
  • The study also reaffirmed the scientific consensus that genetically modified corn does not pose risks to human health.

Let’s review that last point again:

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For years the misinformed have argued that GMOs in the U.S. and Canada haven’t increased crop yields and could threaten human health; this meta analysis proved just the opposite.

 

The Billionaire

Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates recently participated in an “Ask Me Anything” online forum and remarked that not only does he view genetically modified foods as “perfectly healthy,” but that he sees them as a promising tool in a wider array of resources in the fight to reduce world hunger.

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“GMO foods are perfectly healthy and the technique has the possibility to reduce starvation and malnutrition when it is reviewed in the right way,” Gates wrote. “I don’t stay away from non-GMO foods but it is disappointing that people view it as better.”

gatesHis strong and public opinion of GMOs is getting press because it seems to be the opposite of others’ who aren’t necessarily educated on the topic, but are quite passionate (and maybe vocal?) about it. It appears that for once, someone with a mighty microphone did their homework and has made a personal decision for the benefit of progress and health.

When speaking of the argument regarding the safety and value of GMOs?
As far as we’re concerned, the book is closed.

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Information came from these sources:

After Two Decades of GMOs, Scientists Find They Live up to Their Promise

Bill Gates calls GMOs ‘perfectly healthy’ — and scientists say he’s right

Does GMO corn increase crop yields? 21 years of data confirm it does—and provides substantial health benefits

 

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