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Trimming input costs without decreasing yields

Photo by Ben Nuelle

By Ben Nuelle

Harvest is beginning to wind down and many farmers are purchasing seed for next year. The biggest question is where they can trim costs without decreasing yield and increasing pest pressure. Mycogen Seeds Commercial Agronomist John Long says when planning for next year, crop inputs are not the place to cut corners.

Crop inputs impact both this year’s bottom line and long-term field productivity. Cutting crucial crop needs one year may cause long-term consequences in following years.

“When growers start to look at their plan for the 2016 growing season, as you look at products and how they performed this year and diversifying your genetics, it is important you stay with the elite genetics. Couple reasons behind that are that the newest and elite genetics are ones that just came out from research and development programs. There are the ones showing yield advantages over products two or three years old,” Long said.

He said there is a second point farmers should keep in mind too.

“The year that we had had phenomenal amounts of rainfall. We saw a lot of foliar disease, late season anthracnose, crown rots and things like that so maybe learn from this year which products were durable that held up in some of those adverse conditions. Make sure you are utilizing some of those strategies that were key to 2015,” Long said.

Long added there are for inputs farmers should keep in mind when looking ahead to next year.

They include: Trait Packages, Seed Treatments, Herbicide applications, and Fertilizer applications.

Long said with so much rainfall in 2015, even the best nitrogen management practices were not bulletproof. He recommends stabilizing nitrogen applications to help keep nitrogen in the root zone where the plant needs it.

He also said as growers seek to maximize their investment in crop inputs in 2016, it is critical they understand the long-term consequences of these management decisions.