2015 corn season preview
Joe Lauer Extension Corn Agronomist
Department of Agronomy
UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences
2:59 – Total Time
0:16 – Back to basics
1:42 – Promising new practices
2:24 – New biological products promising
2:51 – Lead out
Sevie Kenyon: Sizing up the 2015 corn-growing season, we are visiting today with Joe Lauer, Department of Agronomy University of Wisconsin – Madison Extension in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, and I’m Sevie Kenyon. Joe, what are our farmers looking at this season?
Joe Lauer: We’ll, I’ve been telling growers this spring to really kind of get back to the basics. In the past we‘ve enjoyed some fairly good prices where we have had the ability to try a whole bunch of things. Now it’s time to really make decisions on those things that have been tried, and decide whether or not to keep them or eject them out of your management system. But it really kind of comes back to a lot of the basic management decisions that go on with crop production. One of the big ones is just hybrid selection. What we see within our trials is that if you look at the top and bottom hybrids in a trial, on average it’s about 40% yield swing just based on the hybrid that you pick. And that hybrid is going to dictate your management style for the coming season. So that to me is one of the major decisions that a grower really has to pay attention to, we’ve gone through a number of decisions for the wintertime. Things like early planting, plant population, hybrid selection, rotating your crops is a 10-20% yield increase and then a 30% increase when you have a stressful year. All those things are basic, really pay attention to what those basics are going to mean in 2015.
Sevie Kenyon: Joe, out of the things that people have been able to try recently, are there some new ones that may stick?
Joe Lauer: We are just on the cusp of a whole bunch of transgenic traits that will be coming available, and it’s kind of an exciting time there. Another real major activity I think is in the whole area of fertilizer and managing fertilizer. Nitrogen has always been a problem in Wisconsin due to cool wet springs; we tend to get a lot of denitrification so there are a number of new products out there that are nitrogen extenders or inhibitors that will help with the efficiency of getting nitrogen into the plant. And there is a lot of activity in biologicals as well.
Sevie Kenyon: Joe, what are biologicals?
Joe Lauer: A good example is mycorrhizal inoculant. Mycorrhizal are symbiotic fungi that infect corn roots that allow the plant to take up more fertilizer. These are products that are coming out, I think it is a little premature as to whether or not they are of any value in terms of return on investment, but there is a lot of activity going on right now in the country side with these products.
Sevie Kenyon: We’ve been visiting with Joe Lauer, Department of Agronomy University of Wisconsin – Madison Extension in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, and I’m Sevie Kenyon.