For growers, learning how to increase yield each season is a career-long process, and one that will continue to change as soils change, resistant weeds expand and new technology is introduced.
As a starter kit, here are four quick ways growers can increase their yield in 2017.
1. Increased Plant Population
The national average used to stand at 22,000 plants per acre, but that trend has since increased to 30,000 and even higher as growers continue to look for ways to profitably maximize their yield potential and as seed hybrids for these higher stand counts have evolved.
Even though higher plant population don’t always translate to higher yields, there’s definitely the potential with increasing the number of plants per acre. In addition to maximizing the physical acres they farm; growers may be able to see an increase in total profit. They may also realize some other cost savings that may add to their bottom line. For example, they may get a better deal per bag on seed costs when they purchase a larger amount of seed.
2. Nitrogen Management
The topic of nitrogen management continues to be an important one in the ag industry. Nitrogen is a critical nutrient – especially in sustainable crop production, but it is also one that can impact the environment through leaching and denitrification. There should be a strategy behind a grower’s nitrogen management process, which is why many growers continually look for better ways to efficiently maximize the benefits of the existing nitrogen in their soil and the nitrogen they add to their soil.
To ensure their crops have the correct amount of nitrogen and the nitrogen is applied in the right places and at the right time, growers should utilize products and technologies that help constrain the conversion from ammonia to ammonium nitrate, to keep the nitrogen in the soil longer and more available to the crops.
One way growers can achieve this is by using nitrogen stabilizers, which retain and protect nitrogen inside the root zone. Read more about how nitrogen stabilizers can help protect a grower’s crop production. Another important consideration is to realize how heavy rainfall can affect nitrogen. Finally, learn how to best protect yield and maximize your nitrogen investment during fall applications.
3. Weed Management
Weed management is top of mind for most growers. With the constant increase of resistant weeds, growers will now have the opportunity to use the new herbicides and adjuvants to help them create the best offensive strategy for their fields. The systems approach is still the most widely recommended plan to help growers successfully manage and control the spread of weeds in their fields long term.
- Apply overlapping residual herbicides to maximize the effects, and
- Properly utilize the new trait and herbicide technologies.
Read more about successful strategies for an effective weed management program on the LIFT blog.
4. Utilize Technologies
Each year new technologies appear in the agriculture market. These advancements have helped growers analyze their growing decisions and make improvements in response to their continued progress and overall yield production. For example, today, growers can use their smart phones to measure and analyze weed control, rainfall, current yield and more.
We realize there is not a one-size fits all approach to increase yield. Every field has its own set of challenges that need to be cared for with a customized approach by the grower. Essentially, the best route is for growers to not lose focus on some of the proven strategies that have worked for decades, while also continuing to educate themselves on new strategies and technologies that could help them increase yield and efficiency for better profitability.
Original Source: Leaders of In-Furrow Technology, West Central