A Day to Harvest On-farm Test Plots

A Day to Harvest On-farm Test Plots

Harvest rain-outs give us time to catch up on maintenance, harvest and evaluate test plots

Monday we spent the day piddling around. We ended up with about three inches of rain last week. Friday and Saturday provided our fill of catch up maintenance. We are itching to get going again.

Related: Give Test Plot Entries A Fair Chance

 Or goal was to do something. While doing "something," the objective was to do as little damage as possible. In order to do that, we decided it would be a good opportunity to harvest plots. Plots take extra time to plant and harvest. Seldom do we want to give up that time. However, plots are the best avenue to evaluate a broad range of products on our land. We had a competitive plot and a foliar treatment plot.

Harvest rainouts give us time to to catch up on maintenance, harvest and evaluate test plots

A glance at the competitive plot lends me to think that planting date will have a strong correlation to yield. When comparing a strip test from our first planted field to the same hybrid in the competitive plot, there was about a 10% difference. Both fields were irrigated, corn on corn, high management, and similar soils. The only significant difference was three and a half weeks between plantings. The later planting yielded fewer bushels.

Running the plot also gave us an opportunity to see what moistures might be out in some of our fields. The news there wasn't good. The moistures ran from 25% to 35%, with the plot average being right at 30%. We could use another shot of that Indian summer we had last week!

Related: Why This Farmer Works With Purdue for On-Farm Test Plots

The data from the foliar treatments will be combined with replicated plots from around the region. The composite results will tell what treatments (if any) consistently provide an economic return. Compiling this with past years data will help to fine tune the information and allow us to make better choices in this lower revenue era.

After we completed the plots, I made a pass down to the end of the field. Once the combine hopper was 2/3 full, I didn't need to ask what we were going to do the rest of the day. It was apparent we were not going to finish harvesting that field.

The opinions of Kyle Stackhouse are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or the Penton Farm Progress Group.

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