Farmers across the state are itching to get in the field. But with planting only weeks away, there are a few things to consider before the first seed hits the ground. Mark Miller is an agronomist with Golden Harvest. He says before you step into the field have a plan.
“Some of the key factors we look at to determine the right fields for the right hybrids are the root type and ear type. A root type is going to help with your soil placement. There are three types of roots: a fibrous root, modified root, and penetrating root. A fibrous root is going to work better on your coarse-textured soils. A penetrating root is going to work better on a fine-textured soil, more like a clay soil that needs to go down through that clay pan. A hybrid with a modified root is going to work on almost any type of soil.”
Miller says the root type will give you an idea of where you need to be. Next comes ear type.
“It is important because of population. Certain people will set their planter for a certain population and go with that. That is fine if you can shoot for something in the middle. A lot of our hybrids around here are going to range from 32 to 36,000 but there are some that prefer and yield better and be more economical at a higher population. There are certain ones with a good ear flex will produce just as much corn at a lower population,” Miller says.
Miller says these steps are important because every field is different.
“On a given farm, the textures might not vary as much or the organic matter might be somewhat consistent but just something as far as PH. Especially, people who are picking new ground or farming something right next door and they think they know the soils very well but PH is a very important part of hybrid placement.”
Miller adds it’s also good to plant a variety of hybrids.