There’s been much concern and speculation about the potential seed quality from the 2008 soybean crop. The delayed planting and cold wet conditions during and immediately following planting had many people convinced that most fields would not be able to make even the minimum standards required for seed conditioning. I’m happy to report that these concerns seem to be unfounded! We’ve been blessed with an excellent seed crop.
We don’t have all the germination reports back yet from our composite bin samples, but what reports we do have are all testing in the upper 90s. Most germination reports range from 97 to 99 percent! Reports on conditioned lots including L2085R, L2158R and L2348R are all running in that same range.
Seed size does not appear to be as big of concern as was initially feared. While some varieties may have slightly smaller seed size, others are similar to last year. The overall net effect will be minimal, perhaps just a bit smaller on average as compared to the 2007 crop.
In general, the 2008 seed crop looks to be an excellent one. Despite the challenging growing conditions, we were pleasantly surprised with the yields we received and are grateful for the terrific quality. Latham customers can once again head into the new season knowing that they have superior quality in their seed purchases from Latham Companies.
Today’s biotech corn hybrids combine elite genetics with high-performing traits that better handle stress and actually thrive in high planting populations. University corn specialists across the Corn Belt recommend that growers increase seeding rates by 5% to 10% to achieve optimal plant population in final stands.
Recent surveys indicate that many growers have not increased seeding rates to accommodate these high tech hybrids. In fact, 9 out of 10 growers surveyed plant rootworm-resistant corn hybrids at the same rate as traditional non-rootworm corn.
It’s time to optimize seeding rates. On productive soils, with consistent performance records, final stands of more than 30,000 plants per acre may be necessary to maximize yield potential. In less productive soils, droughty areas, or if late planting is necessary, final stands should be in the mid-20,000 range.
It is important to understand the relationship between seeding rates and final stand. To achieve optimized plant populations, you may need to increase your seeding rate 15% to 20% above your targeted final stand plant population. The higher rates will make up for unavoidable losses due to seasonal situations and planting conditions.
One of your first steps should be increasing seeding rates for the biotech hybrids you plant next season. At Latham Hybrids, we are focusing on planting populations in several research plots throughout the area. For results on those trials, check with your local Latham Seed2Soil specialist.
Have you tried any increased seeding rates in your fields? Seen any university research trials on plant populations? What were the results? We’d love to hear your story! Share it with us in the comment box below.
A great story of neighbors helping neighbors reached our mailbox this past week from our friends in South Dakota. Bad luck had struck hard this past fall for one of our own Latham customers. Early in the harvest season, the family’s combine motor blew up after the very first round in the first field of soybeans. With wet conditions following, they were forced to leave the beans and switch to corn.
Due to minor medical complications, the father, who held the role of main farm manager was hospitalized a couple weeks ago. This left only the son to bring in the harvest and maintain the rest of the operation.
On October 31, friends and neighbors gathered to form a harvest bee of 10 combines, 5 grain carts, several trucks and semis. Together they brought in 600 acres of crop in a single day. Bill Eichacker, Latham RSM from the South Dakota region, would like to give a shout out to all those farmers who lent a hand to bring in the crop this fall. ”It’s great to have close friends to rely on when we were in such a bind” he commented, without them we never would’ve been able to finish harvest on time.”
If you have a great harvest story to share, send us an email with your story and any photos you would like to include to email@example.com. We’d love to hear from you!