Seeds for Success

By Jerry Hartsock
Cutting Edge Consulting and Research Services

The start of the 2021 growing season is practically upon us in the central Corn Belt. Some brave souls have put a few beans in, and the delta is off to an early start with corn at V2 growth stage. My question is, is everyone ready to embrace this potentially wild and lucrative ride??

Personally, I’m pretty much focused on:

  1. 250 bpa corn yields at $5.00/bu ($1250.00 gross)
  2. 70 bpa soybean yields at $13.00/bu ($910.00 gross)
  3. And what are the steps, details, standards, mindset, etc it will take to deliver a version of the above economics?

A DETAILED CROPPING PLAN for every farm will help lay out the road map for success. Hybrid placement and with the right traits to match the conditions is paramount. Planter setup and the precise planting into very fit conditions parallels every success story. Intense in-season management to include ample nitrogen throughout the season and fungicide use possibly at V6-V8 and for sure at R1 to maximize yield and standability. Timely early harvest above 24% finishes things off by maximizing another 20+ bushels instead of drying in the field to 15.5% moisture (it’s not yours until it’s in the bin).

Soybean planting populations are a moving target as I see it with ranges of 100, 000 drop to 175, 000 providing optimum yields. A couple of things to keep in mind is it’s common to have 15-20,000 plants less final stand than the planting population even with a good row unit. Most of the data I’ve seen associated with lower planting populations (120,000 and below) being successful is coming from the “A” zones in the field and not the “B and C” zones. Soybean planting populations are INVERSE to that of corn. “C” zones for sure take higher populations (20% higher) so if you don’t have a planting prescription or variable rate drive on your planter, it gets more difficult to decide on your populations.

The following is a list of things we are focused on looking at and learning from this year from testing:

  • Soybean populations
  • Enlist™ Weed Control System vs. Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® for weed control and drift
  • Bevy of new corn products
  • Seed quality testing
  • New seed treatments
  • ILEVO® fungicide seed treatment vs Saltro® for yield and SDS
  • Late season potassium, sulfur, and boron on corn and soybeans (pivot and ground applied)
  • A product to shorten the distance between nodes on the soybean plant and reducing height without the inconvenience of Cobra applications. It conveniently mixes with herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, etc.

In closing, these are exciting times and it is NOT JUST ANOTHER GROWING SEASON!! This crop has the potential to be in the top 2, 3, 4, or 5 in the 45 or so growing seasons a farmer is a part of …. Maximize it and enjoy it!


ILEVO® is a registered trademark of BASF. ®, Saltro® is a trademark of a Syngenta Group Company.
The transgenic soybean event in Enlist E3® soybeans is jointly developed and owned by Dow AgroSciences LLC and M.S. Technologies L.L.C. Enlist Duo® and Enlist One® herbicides are not registered for sale or use in all states or counties. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your area. Enlist Duo and Enlist One are the only 2,4-D products authorized for use with Enlist crops. Consult Enlist herbicide labels for weed species controlled. Always read and follow label directions.
DO NOT APPLY DICAMBA HERBICIDE IN-CROP TO SOYBEANS WITH Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® technology unless you use a dicamba herbicide product that is specifically labeled for that use in the location where you intend to make the application. IT IS A VIOLATION OF FEDERAL AND STATE LAW TO MAKE AN IN-CROP APPLICATION OF ANY DICAMBA HERBICIDE PRODUCT ON SOYBEANS WITH Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® technology, OR ANY OTHER PESTICIDE APPLICATION, UNLESS THE PRODUCT LABELING SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZES THE USE. Contact the U.S. EPA and your state pesticide regulatory agency with any questions about the approval status of dicamba herbicide products for in-crop use with soybeans with Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® technology. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Soybeans with Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® technology contain genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate and dicamba. Glyphosate herbicides will kill crops that are not tolerant to glyphosate. Dicamba will kill crops that are not tolerant to dicamba. Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® is a registered trademark of Monsanto Technology LLC used under license.
Corteva Agriscience is a member of Excellence Through Stewardship® (ETS). Corteva Agriscience products are commercialized in accordance with ETS Product Launch Stewardship Guidance and in compliance with the Corteva Agriscience policies regarding stewardship of those products. In line with these guidelines, our product launch process for responsible launches of new products includes a longstanding process to evaluate export market information, value chain consultations, and regulatory functionality. Growers and end-users must take all steps within their control to follow appropriate stewardship requirements and confirm their buyer’s acceptance of the grain or other material being purchased. For more detailed information on the status of a trait or stack, please visit www.biotradestatus.com. Excellence Through Stewardship® is a registered trademark of Excellence Through Stewardship.

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