The 2019 Crop: A Look Ahead to the Plan

By Jerry Hartsock
Cutting Edge Consulting and Research Services

With the 2018 crop all but behind us, it’s time to focus our full attention on the next growing season. As we look ahead to that process, a suggested title or heading for that plan might read:

I’m Going to Raise an Amazing Corn and Soybean Crop in 2019 and NOTHING is Going to Keep Me From It!

Planning for the 2019 season actually began with insect monitoring in June and July: scouting and recording information on corn rootworm beetles in corn fields that may go back to corn in 2019 and on various western and northern rootworm beetles that may have migrated to soybean fields. This information is vital to making rotation and hybrid trait decisions, as well as deciding on
insecticides used at planting. Your farm’s board of directors that AgVenture refers to as your farming circle of influence (C.O.I.) should be finalizing these and other details for your 2019 cropping plan as harvest is complete.

The following is a timeline and possible list of items or topics to be included in the plan:

  • October – Order the best varieties and seed sizes at the best discounts.
  • Fall – Make tillage decisions on residue management or compaction alleviation and not just because you’ve always just chisel plowed. Every decision made from harvest on should center on maximizing planter functionality. When deciding fall tillage, think in terms of warm, level seedbed with no residue in the seed trench, which the planter prefers.
  • December/January – Consider other inputs such as herbicides, insecticides and fungicides.
  • December/January – Finalize nitrogen needs (i.e., NH3, 28/32 percent), urea and starters.

In summary, considering these points and suggestions will help you build the strongest 2019 cropping plan:

  1. 1. Is your farming circle of influence up to the task? Are key money makers influencing the process of setting yield goals and laying out the standards and tactics to drive yields higher or are money savers driving your decisions? Update your C.O.I. regularly.
  2. 2. The following tactics have driven yields by an average of 48 bu/acre over the last three years and the cost to get those bushels was approximately $1.00/bu. 
    • Impeccable planting standards and high-quality seed
    • Early and late nitrogen management
    • Starter fertilizer applications – nitrogen, phosphorous, sulfur, zinc and boron (the more the better)
    • Safe herbicides
    • Fungicide use at V6 and R1
    • High phosphorous and potassium levels
    • Early harvest – 24 percent moisture and higher 
  3. 3. Money savers who didn’t spend the $40–$50 in an attempt to lower input costs did NOT have those extra 48 bushels to market.
  4. 4. Obtaining and using manures can greatly enhance the yields of modern day hybrid and soybean varieties.
  5. 5. If dicamba use on Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans in 2019 is further restricted and its use declines, are you covered on Liberty®/glufosinate herbicide?
  6. 6. If NAFTA and other free trade agreements get rectified and the price of corn and beans goes up, do you have those extra bushels that the money makers in your C.O.I. brought you?
  7. 7. High yielding corn is almost always the best economic situation.
  8. 8. Have you put members in your C.O.I. on notice you will be making changes as your operation moves forward and that replacing the weakest link with a strong money maker will bring dividends?
  9. 9. Great success stories are obtained by planning, high levels of execution and hard work.
  10. 10. Be safe and enjoy the journey.


DO NOT APPLY DICAMBA HERBICIDE IN-CROP TO SOYBEANS WITH Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® technology unless you use a dicamba herbicide product that is specifically labeled for that use in the location where you intend to make the application. IT IS A VIOLATION OF FEDERAL AND STATE LAW TO MAKE AN IN-CROP APPLICATION OF ANY DICAMBA HERBICIDE PRODUCT ON SOYBEANS WITH Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® technology, OR ANY OTHER PESTICIDE APPLICATION, UNLESS THE PRODUCT LABELING SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZES THE USE. Contact the U.S. EPA and your state pesticide regulatory agency with any questions about the approval status of dicamba herbicide products for in-crop use with soybeans with Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® technology. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Soybeans with Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® technology contain genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate and dicamba. Glyphosate herbicides will kill crops that are not tolerant to glyphosate. Dicamba will kill crops that are not tolerant to dicamba. Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® is a registered trademark of Monsanto Technology LLC used under license.
Always read and follow label instructions. Liberty®, LibertyLink® and the Water Droplet Design are trademarks of Bayer.