August 29, 2016

Planning now for the next crop season

By Jason Dalton

Servi-Tech Agronomist

As the growing season comes to a close, now is the time to come up with a game plan for harvest. Scouting your fields is the only way to know when they’re ready and which ones need to be harvested first. Not only will scouting your fields prior to harvest help you decide when to harvest, it can provide valuable information for planning the next crop season. Information that can help you make important management decisions such as, variety selection, fertility management, pest control, and herbicide selection.

Evaluating the performance of your hybrids is an important key to selecting hybrids for the next season. How well a hybrid or variety yields is always at the top of the list when selecting seed for next season. But knowing whether or not a particular hybrid or variety was more susceptible or resistant to disease can make a difference to you bottom line next year as well. Other factors such as stalk quality and standability are important items to consider when selecting corn hybrids. Knowing your fields potential will also help in selecting the right hybrid or variety.

You can plant the best seed on the market but unless your field has the right fertility you will still be disappointed. Regular grid sampling to determine the fertility needs of each field is the best way to get the most out of everything you plant. By grid sampling you are able to maximize your fertilizer inputs and get the greatest return on your investment. The money spent on grid sampling will pay dividends in the long run. Planning ahead and getting fertility results in the fall can help make effective management decisions for the coming year.

Another important piece of information that can be gathered by scouting your fields is knowing what pests and weeds you are up against and what you can expect in the coming season. Too many growers rely on the drive-by scouting method to determine if they have a pest or weed problem. If you can tell that there’s something wrong from the road it might be too late to get good control of the situation. Walking a field on a regular schedule can alert you to pests and emerging weeds before they become too difficult and costly to control, and before they start cutting into your yields. Furthermore, you will know what to expect next season as you make budget decisions for insecticide, and develop your weed management program.

The agronomist and crop advisors at Servi-Tech can provide you the information you need to evaluate the current crop season and to make important management decisions for the next season. There are crop scouting programs that will fit every operation, large or small, and give you the advantage that you need to maximize you farms potential.

Servi-Tech also provides grid sampling services, and has three different labs in the Midwest so you can get quick, consistent, and accurate results for each field. Helping you get the most out of every dollar you spend on fertilizer.

The Servi-tech agronomist and crop advisors also have the knowledge and experience to help you plan your herbicide program for the next season. With the number of weeds developing resistance, it is more important than ever to know what weeds you’re up against and choose the right herbicide. It doesn’t take long to spread a lot of money on your weeds just to see them recover a week later. Having a Servi-Tech crop advisor in you field will not only give you the information you need to make the best decisions when selecting your herbicides, but will help you know the best time to apply those herbicides before the weeds take over.

The best way to plan for the next season is to have as much information about each of your fields as you can. Input costs are too high and profit margins are too tight to just guess and hope it works out. Regular scouting and soil sampling can provide you with the information you need to make the best management decisions and to maximize your inputs. Servi-Tech can provide the information and expertise that will give you the advantage you need to realize the full potential of your farm and make every field profitable.