As we get into harvest, what are the most interesting trial results on your farm?
A lot of us are running our own field trials on any number of products/practices, as combines roll what are some of the most surprising/interesting results? Bonus points for the best ROI.
For example this year I tried a fertigold humic/folvic dry product on spring wheat and saw a 2bu gain for a cost of ~$.50/ac.
On our farm, in South-Central IL, the strongest correlation is between tillage speed and yield.
This translates to the ground being just a little too “moist”, which then causes compaction. So, the tillage speed actually is an indicator for drainage hot spots.
As logic would indicate, the normalized yield pattern is lower in these areas AND our fertility levels are higher. Our CEC levels are also higher. After nearly two decades of analysis, CEC to me stands for Can Easily Compact.
Fall and spring tillage differences.
Fall - chisel plowed versus salford coulters. We only ran the salford coulter machine on all our bean stubble last year. Now that we have water standing in our crops and getting wetter. It is much easier to combine where the salford went compared to the chisel plow. Combing through the water and only sinking a few inches. Chisel plowed the cart has to wait on the headland and the combine is making a mess. Never afraid of getting stuck, but the ruts are deeper.
Spring -,tilled versus no till. I had 2 fields this year I did a winter rye cover crop last fall and no tilled beans into them this spring. First time trying this. This wet spring, those two fields were the driest I planted. Now this fall, again with water standing in most fields, those 2 fields were dry, combing never made a rut. Could drive the trucks onto the headlands where all other fields trucks have to stay on the road. So far the no till fields are on the top of my yields.
I farm in west central MN, where everyone has always told me 'if you don't till in the fall it will never dry out in the spring'.
A lot of guys around me spent a lot of money on tracks for their combines. I don't seem to be having much trouble.
We will see how things finish.
No till has proven to have more soil permeability (water infiltration capacity) than tilled ground by a factor of 10. Results in the URL so you can see for yourself. This is assuming that you don't have a subsoil compaction layer but no till lets us get in the field sooner than my neighbors who do conventional till year over year.
WE have had a couple things show up this year. 1st- because of the early freeze up last fall and the late wet spring we had, we ended up no-tilling 100% of our soybeans. So far we have seen very little yield drag. This would include some very heavy clay loam soils. We will not be collecting any crop ins. 2nd we applied 30# of urea on half our corn acres at V4 growth stage. our yield monitor is showing a strong 15 bushel return on those acres vs. spring applied only. We also have some early corn varities (77 to 88 day) that we are excited to harvest. They look promising and could end up as a early harvest option in the future??? All of our FBN soybean and corn varities look as good as any thing else in our fields. 2019 will be a VERY educational year for all of us.!!!
I have often wondered about insecticide ROI in cotton. This year I planted a 105 acres of DPL 1646. From time of planting and all thru in season we sprayed 80 acres of it with all the necessary insecticide applications according to the threshold. My independent scout checks every week and is very thorough.
The remaining 25 acre control had no insecticides applied only PGRs.
The field average was over 1500lbs/ac and the 25acre control had no yield loss but actually seen sum yield increase.
Not sure what this exercise tells us but I certainly will be trying it again.