Published October 23, 2020 | By Mike Petersen
CORN HARVEST 2020
The past few days I have been pouring over the corn yield data we obtained with the Deere S770 combine during the week of October 5-8. I am waiting for approval from all our partners before I release this data and observations/conclusions. Most likely end of next week folks. What I can tell you in this short update that across the farm the two Pioneer varieties we used did quite well with the management program of tillage-planting-irrigation-fertility-fungicide-herbicide and doing well to be timely according to the plant physiological stages. Yes that was a mouthful, albeit so important for you to realize timing with corn is what allows any of us to tip the scale to have real solid yields that make money. The entire farm average was 231.5 bushels per acre with the corn moisture running between 16 and 18.2% and 60-61 lb per bushel.
I must provide you with a caveat, the field was hurt by a down-blasting wind back in July that caused 30-35% ‘Greensnap’ damage just one node above the ear placement on the stalk. Local observers clocked the wind speed on that evening of 60-65+mph. It was not that severe across the entire farm but two fairly large spots in a transect/swath from northeast to southwest was more than enough. Yes it was disappointing and on the day after – deflating to say the least. What we did see (a peek into what is coming) the yields where the wind damage was less than (4%) we were 269 bu/acre and the low was 203bu/acre.
We want to thank AKRS John Deere organization for being good with getting us the equipment of the corn head and S770 right on time and being there to aid and support from the April strip tilling and fertilizing to hauling it away.
We are very thankful to the team with Nutrien and all their participation as well as lending a hand nearly every week throughout the season – tissue sampling, soil sampling, watching over the crop for bug issues or disease, super job men!
North Forty Seed Co. was right with us all the way and Nick Hatfield was always helpful giving us information about the two hybrids we selected along with what was in the Variety strip trial that faced Road F. I will say this, growers keep your Seedsman’s phone number handy when you work with his/her hybrids – they are a great resource as they work with you on your management plan. That is not to rip on him/her but to gain their knowledge and information is the kind of relationship I am speaking of. Nick is just that kind of professional.
All of us thank the young high schoolers from High Plains FFA and Cross County FFA for pitching in when we asked them to , to collect pages and pages of growth data and gaining “hands-on” agronomics in the first three months of the growing season. Then some were able to come out for harvest. Nearly everyone of the Vo-Ag students from both schools attended the August 26th field day and exhibition at the McNaught Farm. Five of these sharp young folks gave a knowledgeable talk in front of the 100+ folks on a large screen TV that Orthman Mfg. team brought to serve lunch and use the audio-video equipment to provide a great day for all. I as the scientist for Orthman am incredibly proud of them.
I do sincerely thank our good friends and supporters at SureFire Ag who provided us the top-notch equipment to deliver the fertilizer products from April’s strip tilling pass to planting to cultivating and ditching with more nutrients. Your equipment worked flawlessly, gave us a confidence that we were putting on the products at the right amounts, in the right location and on time. When we needed him Mark Griffith he was there and the guys back in Atwood on the help line – Kudos! When carrying out replicated studies we knew that SureFire Ag was our set of tools to do the job. The results will show!
A shout of thanks to Randy Harliss there in Polk, Nebraska who sprayed for us. We really appreciate you and your guys when we needed fuel and materials to spray for weeds and all.
As the science guy who can be blamed for a ton of comments, questions and stupid looks of why in tarnation we gotta do… I thank Pat McNaught for putting up with my quirks, science-guy geekness, wanting it just so, some nagging, a starter trial of 23 acres which was replicated/randomized four times, digging holes, pulling ears (cause of maybe the reduced yields), walking in and out of the field a zillion times. Your patience and love of the farm is gold with me sir. For Doug Peterson all your being there for a 61 different reasons we asked of you – Thank You. To Justin, Pat’s and my supervisor; a big Thank you for being an advisor, a soundboard, giving us time and the go-ahead to pursue this research work, stressing we do the field event and the exposure you knew would be good for Orthman. To our owner of the company, John McCoy, we set out to prove several details about Strip Till by the tool that tills in thousands of fields and the 1tRIPr works around the globe and we did them sir. When I get the more robust report done that details the season long comings/goings cleared and report by times we looked at crop responses you will see the solid positive results. We thank you for trusting us to expose the Orthman Team as a company “Doing it Right” and a “Hard Act to Follow”. Many thanks to my cohorts who came for the field event jumping in and doing so much; Tim East, Gary Mohr, Justin Cross, Heath Carlton — Many Thanks guys!
Do watch now for what will come from the yields soon.