23 Oct 2020
corn, crop progress

Corn and Soybean Progress: Northern Corn Belt

For those of us in the north, corn harvest is looking very different this year than it did last year. In 2019 we were basically starting harvest in Mid-October, and most farmers were battling muddy fields and wet crops. This fall has seen harvest start earlier than normal, with many farmers seeing field conditions drier than normal and crop moistures much lower than what we usually see at this time of year.

Planting in the spring was drastically different, as well. In 2019 we were wet and cold early, delaying planting dramatically, but when planting finally started we warmed up drastically, the crop shot out of the ground, and early season vigor was not tested. This spring, we planted early in drier soils, but temperatures were very cold and stayed that way for 10-14 days, and emergence was delayed longer than normal and really tested early season vigor. From start to finish, the 2020 growing season has been much different then what we saw in 2019.

Why do I bring this up? It’s easy to look at plot data and either get overzealous with a hybrid that did well this year or write a very good hybrid off if it performed below expectations this year. The latter of these is something to be very cautious of, especially if you have seen good performance in the past two to three years with this hybrid. The environment that caused a hybrid to thrive in 2020 may not be present in 2021, and conversely the same can be said if a product performed below expectations.

Corn and Soybean Seed Planning

With all this in mind, how can you know what the next growing season will throw at you when you purchase seed? Enter: Advantage Acre (and more specifically, the Weather Timeline). Advantage Acre uses the information from WeatherTrends 360 for the location of any selected field and gives an 11-month forecast for that field. Is it exactly right every day? No, it’s called WeatherTrends, not WeatherExact. But, the trends that are shown on the timeline are more than enough information to give you a very good idea of what to expect. Will it be warm and wet, cool and wet, dry, potential for an early fall freeze, cold spring, all of this information can help you compare the upcoming growing season to previous growing seasons, and help make a more informed seed decision.

In addition to Advantage Acre, you can also couple that information with the data from AgReliant Genetics Research plots, where hybrids go through EX1, EX2 and then on to PCR plots before they even get considered to be commercialized. This process gives LG Seeds three years of data to look at, through multiple different growing seasons and conditions and across a wide geography, to find hybrids that bring high yield and have solid agronomics from year to year and region to region.

Why Mix Matters

You’ve heard us talk a lot lately about Mix Matters, and the past two growing seasons have proven the importance of planting a mix of products on your farm. Even with all the information mentioned above, no two growing seasons are alike, which makes a mix of hybrids critical to the success of your operation.