Beating the Odds With a Perfect Growing Season

I work really closely with Wayne, my AgVenture Yield Specialist throughout the year. Here's what he had to say about this season so far:

Corn in the Delta

"During a normal season, we generally do at least three rounds of irrigation and watering. I've told Jackson to start up three different times so far, and he never gets a complete set done before it rains again. Every farmer, from the ones who have been doing this for 30 years to the ones of who have been doing it for 50 years, we've never seen anything like this. For the corn, it’s pretty much a perfect season, despite the challenges we had at planting.

I would say we had marginal planting season for Jackson. We really thought we were pushing the envelope on it, and it was stressful, but I think we ended up with a better crop than we did in 2013. Last year we thought we were pushing it on March 15, and this year we did it on March 18.

It was cold and everything again. We finished up around April 9, and then we went through a cold, wet spell there for about a week. It was high 30s like 39 for a couple nights. We even got frost at one point.

We also have been trying fungicide in-furrow for a couple years. I think fungicide must just be like crack to corn. It just makes it feel better — whether it's real or not, if it makes it feel better, who cares? The corn really emerged evenly and pretty quick, even with the weather we had. It turned around, and we have one of the best-looking crops we’ve ever seen so far.

With soybeans, it’s a different story. It's like a witches brew every time we turn around. They’re stunted they don't want to grow. They’re waterlogged. We've had to throw some stuff at them, like some foliar-fed fertilizer stuff. I’m just out there calling our agronomists, asking what else we can try. We’re getting to the point where we may not replant.

But the corn — the corn is in really good shape."

Finding the Right Seed

I think on irrigated corn, we should be black layer by August 1. We've got some dryland corn — and this is what I'm proud of — it's one of these deals that, normally we could only pull off with AgVenture.

I was fortunate enough to go to our big meeting in January in Florida for production, and I was able to get with our product team and say, “All right guys, I've got to have a corn variety that's 110 days or less that can take some heat stress. I don't worry about the disease package because we're going to put fungicide on it.”

So they start pulling a couple things, saying, Let's try this let's try that. We put the seed in our little strip plot — in our Profit Plot system there's a small plot — and two years ago, I found three varieties that we would work with. I grew a little bit last year on my farm and made sure that this thing worked. We got this great 106/108-day variety, and I say gosh we’re dented right now on it. It's 200-bushel corn no doubt, but with no rain, we saw how good it was. We put an extra 60 units of fertilizer on it whenever we got to tassel. So we’re looking pretty good here.

- Wayne Dulaney, AgVenture Yield Specialist at Dulaney Seed