Each year we seed earlier and into cooler, wetter and more residue covered soils. How do we connect the agronomic dots and take advantage of higher yield potentials?
• Cooler soil temperatures affect germination and nutrient uptake of all crops, which translates into reduced yield potential, greater susceptibility to weed competition and other pest and disease pressures. So should we seed later? No, we just need to understand all the idiosyncrasies involved in early seeding.
• It’s important to pay attention to the immobile nutrients such as P, K, Zn and Cu. They can’t move far in the soil and are slower to solubilize at lower soil temperatures.
• Seed as shallow as possible for each crop. Seeding deep translates into higher seedling mortality, greater delayed emergence, higher weed competition and extended maturity.
• Changing our thinking from bushels per acre to plants per square foot by utilizing germ, vigor and TKW will in turn create an environment for success.
• The old saying “Speed Kills” applies to farming as much as anything. Slow down. Seeding too fast causes variable depths, merging of seed and fertilizer rows and uneven packing.
• Do you have potential for residual herbicide effects?
Remember the moment we stick our seed in the ground is the moment at which a crop has its highest yield potential. Understanding how to connect all the agronomic dots from timing of seeding to utilization of fertilizer and knowing the effects our equipment has on our seedling will go along ways to making this a profitable year.
From Terry Bonertz, Agronomist with McRae Holdings.