This year, profit on corn is going to made on yield, not price. NC State Extension Corn Specialist, Dr. Ron Heiniger says there’s a couple of secrets to growing big yields on any soil. Heiniger says yields in the high 200’s and low 300’s have done, but not consistently:
“The reason these yields go up and down, is weather, to a large extent. We kind of do what we’ve done all a long and hope the weather is right enough to give us a decent yield. We’ve got to sort of take more control than that, we’ve got to manage the situation in a way that gives us the opportunity to utilize what moisture we get in a more efficient way, so that we can raise higher yields more consistently. We often times depend on the variances of weather, and we need to do like some of these high yield growers who are able to do this consistently, year after year on different farms. We’ve got to find a way to manage the environment we have.
And that’s really what the key is for these growers, is finding these secrets, and I think that they’re really not secrets, but really hidden little pieces of management style or techniques, and I think we can harness them and do more consistent yields in corn, and other crops as well.”
Heiniger says the first key management tool is managing water:
“there’s several that I’ve sort of identified as secret management items that growers need. First of all, they need ot manage water, obviously. I mean it seems so simple to say and so obvious to their success, but somehow we elude the practical application of that.
And by managing water, what you’re doing is you’re making sure that that field will drain when we get these big rains that we commonly get in the spring or even in the middle of the summer sometimes. Sometimes we get all our water at one time, here in North Carolina. We get a lot of water, actually, but we often get it all at one time. These growers that understand that manage that water by making sure that they have good drainage when they have excess water, and at the same time having water there for critical periods like silking. They’re managing their tile outlets, or putting in tile, they’re managing their splashboard risers where they can, they’re managing their soil permeability, they’re managing their compaction so they can reduce and enhance that pool of water that they have. Those are obvious things, but they’re critical as the foundation to that consistency in yield. So, it’s a combination.”
We’ll be spending time with Dr. Ron Heiniger all this week on key management tools that can be used this year to increase corn yield into profitability.