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Top 10 profitable practices — plus 10 that fell short — in 2020

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The Precision Know-how Institute close to Pontiac, Ailing., exams dozens of merchandise and practices every session. This roughly 300-acre farm is operated by Precision Planting and managed by Jason Webster.

“We’re looking for products and practices that pencil out on the bottom line,” Webster says. (*10*)

10 most-profitable practices

Listed below are the 10 most-profitable practices in PTI exams in 2020:

1. Strip-till high-yield irrigated corn. Irrigating with Netafim drip tape designed by NutraDrip resulted in 350 bushels per acre with one hybrid, 342 with one other. The tape was laid on high of the bottom, with emitters each 24 inches. 9 inches of water was utilized. Further vitamins have been additionally utilized. The common web improve over dryland corn was $202.68 per acre.

2. Excessive-yield, irrigated, 20-inch, strip-till cowl crop soybeans. Ryegrass was planted in the autumn with a LAND LUVR strip freshener and APV seeder, then 20-inch strips have been shaped between the ryegrass. Soybeans have been planted on the strips and irrigated with drip tape, as in the primary apply. Yield was 95 bushels per acre, with an financial achieve of $159.42 over the non-irrigated management. By including starter with the FurrowJet package deal, yields reached 105 bushels per acre and web earnings elevated one other $31.73 per acre, Webster says.

3. Triple Cut up-nitrogen utility utilizing Conceal system. Making use of nitrogen 3 times vs. making use of 100% upfront in a “weed and feed” utility delivered $106.50 extra web achieve per acre, Webster says. Triple N functions outperformed twin functions and single functions.

4. Excessive-yield, irrigated, 30-inch row soybeans. The identical drip irrigation system was used, and quite a lot of fertilizer merchandise have been additionally tried, Webster notes. Yields for irrigated beans topped 100 bushels per acre, greater than 20 bushels per acre above non-irrigated, management beans. Prices attributable to therapies utilized additionally elevated. The web achieve was $93.35 per acre.

Tom J. Bechman

WATER HELPS! Jason Webster factors to moisture out there to those soybeans by way of above-ground drip irrigation on a scorching, dry day.

5. Corn strip-crop planting. This somewhat advanced research checked out an idea some have tried for many years — alternating strips of corn and soybeans to extend corn yields. Features have been $88.13 per acre for corn, Webster says. The PTI crew evaluated positive aspects and losses per pairs of corn rows. Nevertheless, soybeans misplaced yield (see No. 6 underneath least-profitable practices) so there’s extra work to do, Webster says.

6. Typical-till, irrigated, high-yield steady corn. “We wanted to see how our high-yield corn recipes performed under irrigation,” Webster explains. “Three of four hybrids yielded over 300 bushels per acre, with the average just over 301.” Numerous combos of components have been tried. Regardless of elevated prices, elevated yield nonetheless helped web a mean of $78.19 per acre greater than the management.

7. Cut up-nitrogen utility over 100% “weed and feed” nitrogen. Even splitting nitrogen utility for corn to 50% pre and 50% sidedressed vs. 100% pre “weed and feed” produced $72.61 extra per acre.

8. Soybean seeding charge. A Golden Harvest soybean selection, GH3546X, netted $61.08 extra per acre at 75,000 seeds per acre vs. 175,000. It reached financial optimum at 75,000. Asgrow Ag 27X0 reached financial optimum at 100,000 seeds per acre, $53.78 above the identical selection seeded at 50,000.

9. Low pH and ag lime for soybeans. In a three-year research, liming was in comparison with sustaining a low pH soil at 5.1 and never including lime. The best revenue, $58.98 per acre, in soybeans was recorded in 2020 on areas the place lime was utilized in 2018 and 2019, however not in 2020.

10. Fertilizer remedy in corn. Nachurs imPulse 10-18-4 liquid starter at 5 gallons per acre utilized in Precision Planting’s FurrowJet tri-band configuration netted $55.60 per acre extra vs. management.

10 least-profitable practices

Listed below are the 10 least-profitable practices in PTI exams in 2020:

1. Late-planting date for soybeans. Planting Could 23 in 2020 price $291.86 extra per acre than planting on the optimum dates in early to mid-April. Webster notes that over the previous three years, planting early vs. mid-Could gained a mean of greater than 16 bushels per acre.

2. June 1 late-planted corn. The optimum planting date on this farm in 2020 for corn was April 23. Planting June 1 price $209.68 per acre greater than planting April 23.

3. Could 14-planted soybeans. Mid-Could introduced a cool spell, and soybeans yields have been affected. The loss vs. planting in early April was $195.52 per acre.

4. Planting corn with a low-saturated chilly germ take a look at. This price $185.20 per acre. Webster notes that sure hybrids rating low on a take a look at replicating saturated and chilly soils, despite the fact that it could nonetheless be a very good hybrid. Should you plant one and get these situations, it impacts emergence. Some seed firms have this data, or you may have a lab take a look at your seed, he says.

5. Planting corn on April 5. Because of climate situations, there was an enormous distinction planting April 5 and even six days in a while April 11, Webster says. The loss in comparison with the optimum date of April 23 was $167.54 per acre.

6. Strip-cropping soybeans. Whereas corn benefitted from alternating strips, soybeans suffered, particularly in the rows nearest the corn. Losses have been roughly $150 per acre. Webster nonetheless hasn’t given up on the concept, hoping to strive narrower blocks to scale back soybean acreage.

7. Planting corn 1 inch deep. This proved to be far too shallow vs. 2 inches in 2020. SmartFirmers confirmed soil moisture was effectively beneath the 32% optimum degree. It was a $138.07 per acre error.

8. Setting the planter improper. Choosing the improper downforce setting, not eradicating residue with row cleaners and reaching solely 95% singulation price $108 per acre in contrast with setting these appropriately. Surprisingly, these “all wrong” settings weren’t that totally different from some precise on-farm planter set-ups.

9. Too little downforce on corn. Examine after research signifies making use of the correct amount of downforce per row is crucial. Not making use of sufficient price $83.52 per acre in this research. Too mild was 175 kilos of up and 100 kilos of down stress, vs. permitting the DeltaForce hydraulic system to regulate mechanically.

10. Too heavy on downforce on corn. You too can apply an excessive amount of downforce, Webster says. On this case in 2020, it price $41.35 per acre. “Too much” was 550 kilos of down stress and 100 kilos of up vs. permitting the system to function and modify mechanically.

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