All things Agriculture

Lessons Learned From 2010 Growing Season

It was a good year to test our ability to adapt.

The 2010 growing season is finished for our farm. Our soybeans and corn crops are in the bin and the equipment cleaned up and stored. Aaaand (drum roll please) - our grain facility project is finally complete!!

2010 was a good year for us to use as a test of our ability to adapt.

Every year is different and we have the opportunity to learn from our efforts to reliably supply the world its food. We farmers feel the responsibility and challenge to sustainably use our resources of sun, soil and water to feed our ever growing world population. I believe we can supply the worlds’ increased food needs.

So, what did we learn from 2010? The only other year I have as a near comparison is 1993, and for our farm it’s not closely comparable. In 1993 we had 31 inches of rain in the growing season with the highest monthly amounts in July and August. In 2010 we had from 48 to 60 inches of rain, with the highest amount in June.

We learned that spoon feeding fertilizer to our corn was somewhat helpful to yields, but not as beneficial as we would have expected -- we just had too much rain in June and our corn really lacked a good root system.

Variety selection with great disease resistance packages in both soybeans and corn proved to be the most beneficial quality. We are gaining experience for when to apply fungicides -- and when not to.

Today’s equipment technology is a great asset to evaluate practices, making it much easier see what worked and what didn’t work.

On our farm with much more adverse weather in 2010, we grew 40% more corn and 24% more soybeans per acre than in 1993. Can we farmers supply the increasing food needs for our world?? This year proves we can!

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