Take a Look for Yourself

ReachOut: Take A Look For Yourself from Central Valley Ag on Vimeo.

by Mike Zwingman

by Mike Zwingman

You know what your Central Valley Ag Field Sales Agronomist is really dying to go out and do in the next two to three weeks.  Go out with you and take a deep look at the status of your corn crop today and what that means as far as harvest timing and reducing harvest loss.  Over the course of the next few weeks, I will lay out a plan that will help you start to develop some harvest logistics. Also, we will evaluate hybrids and the end effect of any planter issues we may have had right from the very start.

This is a valuable learning experience for both you and your FSA as you start discussing plans for next year. It’s where you can truly get a great visual on how everything in your management plan performed, take some notes on what those fields looked like. This will be beneficial when it’s time to discuss your yield maps at the end of harvest.  Each visual clue you get today will help explain the seemingly unexplainable after harvest, this is valuable information when it comes to future planning.  In doing this each FSA will have a process, but since this is my article here is mine:

In each field, we need to start with an overall view of what the consistency and integrity of your stand, as well as the final number of harvestable ears. This overview will come in handy to do some rough yield estimates down the road. The consistency of the stand will give you an idea of any problems you may have had with the planter from a depth or spacing issue.  In next week’s article, I will highlight what this may or may not have done to help you from a yield standpoint.


The second thing is I want you to do the push and squeeze test in random spots throughout your field to determine stalk quality, and while doing it pay attention to any disease and nutrient deficiency issues. The problem may not always be the hybrid so if there are other clues we may have to dig a bit deeper to find the real cause. You do this simple test by walking down the row and with as even amount of force as you can control push the plant over and count the ones that break out of one hundred plants.  Then go back to the ones that have broken and look for visual signs of any stalk or crown rots, this will easily be shown by discoloration of the pith in the stalk.

Once we get a handle on how all the fields look and what problems we may encounter, we can start to prioritize your fields for harvest so we can minimize harvest losses and maximize your profitability.  Like I said go find your FSA and ask him if they want to go for a walk, tell them it will be fun, and you will get a chance to bond.  In all reality, this is a great time for you to have one last big talk before you get in your combine, and who knows it may be more fun than you think.