Defining a corn crop’s success is simple. It comes down to yields, but a whole host of decisions made during the season factor into the final number that appears on the yield monitor. To comprehend the success of an entire crop plan, Shane Brockhoff, Regional Sales Manager for AgriGold, looks at a compilation of signs, while incorporating in-field testing into his harvest routine, to evaluate the effectiveness and performance of seed and crop input choices.
The Preharvest Checklist
Brockhoff starts off with a push and pinch test in the days leading up to expected maturity. This tells him two things: where the crop is in relation to its intended maturity date and what its stalk integrity is like.
Following this test, Brockhoff moves onto examining the appearance of the crop, which can provide clear insights into whether genetics are performing as intended. His checklist includes:
- Root and stalk quality.
- Grain quality.
- Ear shank strength.
“Initially, growers look at these aspects to determine where to start first and where to harvest next,” Brockhoff explained. “This testing is also one of the first steps in 2019 planning. The insights gained from these tests can help them weigh decisions like their dry down by maturity options.”
Smooth Sailing At Harvest
Though yields and performance remain the standards of success, Brockhoff reminds growers to examine how easily the harvest went.
“Outside of the yield monitor, I look at harvest efficiency as a success benchmark, which I deem as anything that slows down or impedes harvest,” Brockhoff stated. “That can include items like stalk integrity (is the crop going to blow over at harvest), dry down maturity (is the crop ready when it’s supposed to be) or ear shank strength (are ears going to fall off the plant as we go through with the combine).”
In Brockhoff’s experience, inefficiencies like these not only slow down operations when time is of the essence but can impact growers’ bottom lines.
Bird’s-Eye View From the Combine Cab
Once combines are roaring, time seems to speed up. But this period is one Brockhoff encourages growers to take full advantage of, including taking detailed notes while going through the field. Brockhoff mentions that, in addition to growers gathering their own in-field intelligence, they should have their local AgriGold Corn Specialist join for a ride along.
“This is a crucial time of year that is the end of one season and the start of another. With a Corn Specialist riding shotgun, they bring historical context to the situation and a fresh set of eyes to pinpoint and address areas of underperformance and success,” Brockhoff commented. “Our Corn Specialists also use this as an opportunity to gain results-based insights and ask growers questions about their goals. All this compiled information guides them as they work with growers to form their 2019 seed selection.”
To schedule a meeting with your local AgriGold Corn Specialist and learn how they can help maximize your 2019 plan, visit AgriGoldbeBold.com.