Farm Progress editors are following the #Plant15 story this spring, bringing farmers coverage of corn planting news across the Midwest.
We're rounding up our most helpful stories on planter preparation recommendations, replant decision tips and planting updates from around the Midwest.
Planter upgrades and set-up
Can your tractor handle your high-tech planter? – If your planter had an extreme makeover this winter, is your planter tractor ready to take on the extra hydraulic and electricity demands your new corn planter brings?
Planter add-ons you shouldn't be without – Thinking of adding an in-furrow fertilizer system? How about a variable rate seed control? One farm family makes the case for both of these add-ons – and a few others.
Seed industry: Big soybean seed will be an issue at planting – Word within the seed industry continues to be that you will want to pay close attention to how the planter is set up to plant bigger soybeans seeds this spring.
Check settings and planting equipment to handle small corn seed – The soybeans may be bigger, but the corn could be smaller. Check planter settings now.
10 tips for spring planter preparation – A final planter preparation checklist before you hit the first field.
Planning ahead for corn planting and soy planting
Don't plant 31,000 seeds and apply 150 pounds of N in every field – Some may like it thinner, some may like it thicker. Maybe some want to put on more N, some a little less. That may depend on where you live, what type of hybrids you plant, your soil types and typical weather conditions.
Spring planting tips to maximize crop yields – Planting tips on starter fertilizer, balanced fertilizer applications throughout the season, and when to plant corn and soybeans, provided by Dr. Robert Mullen, director of agronomy for Potash Corporation.
Execution and evaluation >>>
Develop a plan for planting delays – When dealing with weather-related delays, you can’t afford to skip steps in the overall planting process. Everything you do leading up to planting is important, so being “prudent and patient is critical,” an Iowa State University extension specialist says.
Have a replant strategy in mind before planting season begins – The first decision of the season may be what day to start planting. That can be a tough call. Right behind it is what happens if you don't get the stand you want.
Top tools for high yield corn – A side dump trailer, a high-clearance sprayer and a knife are on this high-producing farmer's favorites list
When to plant corn: Waiting on the magic number of 55 degrees F – For many of us, the calendar says it's time to plant corn. But the soil may not be ready. If you want uniform emergence and stands, plant corn at the same depth, where moisture levels and soil temperature are the same. But that last metric – temperature – is really, really important.
Top 10 excuses for bad planting – None of these will pass muster when stands are checked.
Focus your fertilizer dollars on more than just nitrogen – As budgets tighten and farmers focus on the profitability of their operation, they often focus on the most limiting factor impacting their yield. For most producers, specifically corn producers in the Midwest, the most limiting factor is often nitrogen.
Saving money on starter fertilizer – Consider a new formulation to save costs.
Thin soybean stands may require replant decision – Planters are ready to roll, and in some cases rolling – but somewhere, the weather won't cooperate or the planter won't be set right, and farmers will be faced with a replant decision. What will you do?
Don't overlook spring planter preparation – if you skip it, you could be subject to the bottom-line implications of not minding the details. For helpful tips, download our free report: Planter Preparation Tips: Best Practices for Minimizing Breakdowns this Spring