Randy Dowdy, of Valdosta, Georgia, once again came in with the highest corn yields in the country, and for the first time in history broke the 500 bu/a mark. What is most producers’ minds is; to achieve that kind of yield, those crops are heavily managed, so do they pencil out?:
“Absolutely. Two years ago we won the Corn Efficiency award at 374 bushels. It was about $2.54. Last year we were about $2.65-2.70 when we broke 400. This year I don’t have it penciled out, but if I had to guess I would say we were in the $2.70-.75. So if you do the math, if you see $1350 was spent per acre, and we sold it for $4 per bushel you have a nice return.”
One of Dowdy’s experiments this year was with twin-row planting:
“We had 30 inch corn and we had some 36 inch twin row corn. On the latter, there is 12 inches between the twins, so you have 12 and 24 inch middle. That is where the highest yields came from. I will try this year to do some 15 or 20 inch corn to experiment if I can get a planter. But its expensive. I spend my consulting dollars on influence to do research.”
Dowdy also had strip-till, no-till, conventional, irrigated and dryland production. The 500 bu/a yield came off of a conventional till, irrigated plot.
So, when Dowdy finds something that works, will he stick with it, or continue to experiment…
“We implement the things that we have proven to work on our production acres. Its an evolving process. If you want to achieve higher yields, then its mandatory to be willing to change.”
As with most of the southeastern US, weather was a factor with the 2014 corn crop:
“They tell us we have the potential to make 600-800 bushels so 500 is getting there. We were very wet early with 30” of rain the first 45 days and that proved to be costly. So I think some of my potential was affected there. We will always try to make higher yields and hope for the best.”
We’ll talk further with Georgia’s Randy Dowdy on pest and disease pressure, and his soybean crop on Today’s Topic.