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Start Planning Your 2013 Season Now

September 17, 2012
By: Rhonda Brooks, Farm Journal Seeds & Production Editor

This fall is a prime time to get your production game plan under way for next year.

Baseball legend Babe Ruth once said that with every strike he made when up to bat he was one swing closer to a home run. In all, the Sultan of Swat slugged 714 homeruns. Yet, Ruth also struck out 1,330 times during his storied career. But strikes never held the Babe back. A fearless competitor, Ruth simply kept swinging, confident he would eventually connect with the ball.

Agronomic experts hope farmers tap into that same confident optimism as they plan for next year, despite the corn production strike outs many endured this season. The following recommendations are ideas for your consideration as you create your production game plan for 2013.

Don’t overreact to the drought.

Nick Burley

Nick Burley plants up to 14 corn hybrids on his north west Iowa farm each year. That practice helps him minimize crop risks by spreading corn maturity ranges, flowering dates and even planting timing.

This is not a year on which to base huge changes in agronomic practices or management styles, the experts say. As you plan, evaluate multiple years of data when possible to make sound decisions and avoid knee-jerk reactions.

That’s advice Nick Burley is following despite enduring two straight years of drought on his north west Iowa farm.

"I’m sticking with my corn-bean rotation; that’s what works best on these soils," says Burley, who farms a few miles north of Lake City.

A slight shift in planting populations may be the one modification Burley makes in 2013. "I’m considering lowering my planting populations from 34,000 to the high 20s to minimize the potential for down corn next year," he says.

Order hybrids yesterday.

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FEATURED IN: Farm Journal - October 2012

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