Changing Practices Moving Forward

With the great year we’ve had, this definitely changes the plan moving forward. Not just with our timing at the planter, but there are other things we've been doing this year — just learning from past mistakes, or things we didn't intentionally try — that we’ll be keeping.

For instance, planting on stale beds. This year I didn't run any kind of row conditioner or anything. We just dropped in and planted and I've got the best stand side-to-side, end-to-end that we've ever had. We didn't intentionally do that. Last year, we were running late, and I said, “Just drop in and plant it; it's on a pivot anyway — don't worry about it” and we had a perfect stand. It was 200-bushel corn on our pivot. In the Midwest that's doable, but down here it's not undoable, it's just uncommon. The stand is what brought that through. So we tried it again this year, and now I'm a firm believer that I'm not going to touch my beds.

Another example — one year, we got caught in a typical rainy spring and didn't have anything out. It stayed wet, and the corn was waist high and just yellow. All it had was a starter. Ever since then, we started running the nitrates right behind the planter. If you're putting them in the middle, you’re disturbing the seedbed; it's another piece of equipment you've got to run. Wayne actually came up with the idea of doing it at planting, so we tried drizzling it behind the press wheel and it worked!

Honestly, this is all possible because Wayne and I work really well together. It's almost like Wayne is a partner in my farm. It's just a really easy relationship. It’s probably an anomaly, but we've been friends since birth, and that's a large portion of it. Wayne is really passionate about it, and I am too. We kind of know what the other one’s thinking, and we have our plan. So if we don't talk for two or three days I know he's busy, he knows I'm busy, but we communicate nearly every day.