What are your planting intentions for spring 2010?
David Roehn grows 100% no-till corn and soybeans in Leesburg, Ohio.
> Labor Concerns Push Beans
The challenges we face in southern Ohio include not having quite the yield potential with soybeans that we do with corn, but we've seen an increase in bushels per acre with some weed control strategies. On our farm we've gone from a 50/50 corn-soybean mix to heavier on the soybeans, and I think we'll plant more soybeans again this year.
Because we are 100% no-till, we have weed issues on our farm that are becoming more of a problem. Since 2004, we've dealt with glyphosate-resistant marestail. We will use a preplant herbicide to help clean up the weeds in the fields at planting and eliminate the early competition. That's making it easier to plant soybeans.
We'll also plant more soybeans from a labor standpoint. It's just me and my son farming together, and soybeans offer less problems with handling and storage in the fall.
Bob Dickey grows corn and soybeans and runs a diversified livestock operation in Laurel, Neb.
> Corn Still in Local Fields
In March, there was still a lot of corn left out in the fields around me. There was even a test plot south of my operation that didn't get harvested. I've never seen that happen before. It's going to be a real challenge this spring as we head to the fields to put out a new crop.
I think we will stick with our 50/50 corn and soybean rotation. It's worked well for us in the past. I'm not smart enough to know what the market is going to do down the road, so I like the rotation.
Irrigated corn in my area yields about 200 bu. per acre, and dryland corn is running about 175 bu. per acre. This past year, the growing season was beneficial to higher yields, so we are hoping for those same cooler days and evenings.
Eastern Nebraska had more than 50" of snow this winter, so we are all just hoping things dry up before summer.
Johnny Dodson grows cotton, corn and soybeans in northwestern Tennessee.
> Water Flow Makes a Difference
Asking me what my acreage mix will look like this spring is a loaded question. Last year our spring was so wet, so cool, we didn't get to plant the amount of corn or cotton we wanted to. This year, it depends on the moisture coming from all the snowmelt up north.
I usually split my acreage evenly among cotton, corn and soybeans. If it stays wet and I don't get all the cotton planted, I'll add more beans. The cotton market has actually improved lately, so I'd like to stick with cotton.
A lot of my ground is in the Mississippi Delta alluvial, so if we have an early melt maybe it will move on through and leave in time for us to plant the cotton and corn we want to plant. I start planting corn the first of April, cotton the last of April and beans by June 15.
I'm telling all my Northern friends not to flush the toilet—we don't need anymore water.
Patrick Gannon grows seed beans and no-till corn and soybeans, as well as finishes hogs, in Colfax, Iowa.
> More Luck Growing Soybeans
A big issue to tackle before spring planting was repairing damaged waterways, ruts and field infrastructure. We were trying to seed our waterways through the snow earlier this spring.
I got all of my fertilizer on, so once the ground firms up, we're ready to go. We hope to be planting corn by April 15, but we can wait until end of the month. We use no-till and conventional farming practices.
This year we're going with a 50/50 corn and soybean rotation. I like the balance, and it doesn't drive my input costs up so much. We grow seed beans, so we have our planting intentions pretty well laid out early on. We also spread a lot of manure, and you can't spread hog manure ahead of bean ground.
I actually enjoy growing beans more than corn.
I seem to have better luck with them; I can hit bean yields of 70 bu. per acre, which is high for our area. With corn, yields are average.
Top Producer, Spring 2010