Thursday, February 17, 2011

Glyphosate Resistance

Weed resistance to glyphosate is a topic that we all need to be mindful of and from my experience a lot of my customers take this question seriously.
Now there is a website that allows us to measure the risk of glyphosate resistance occurring on our farms.

You answer a list 10 questions about your herbicide management and at the end you see a sliding scale that indicates the relative risk of glyphosate resistance developing using your actual herbicide program.  When I answered the survey it indicated I had low risk of gyphosate resistance happening.  This is not surprising to me because I rotate crops and herbicide families and never rely on glyphosate as a stand alone treatment.  But with any herbicide there is no such thing as no risk.

Check it out.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Show Me The Money

We all like to get the most out of our crops with the most cost effective inputs.  Choosing the right population drop for the right hybrid is an easy way to maximize the return from our corn crop.  Planting a hybrid too thin leaves money on the table by not maximizing the hybrid's yield potential.  Planting a hybrid too thick is a drain on the pocket book because yield may actually drop and too much money is spent on seed. 
Pioneer invests serious research dollars into identifying the appropriate seed drop for each hybrid in the Pioneer lineup.  Customers need access to this information because not all hybrids are the same. 

Pioneer sales reps and Pioneer customers have access to a plant population calculator at

It is a cool tool that allows you to select the hybrid, input the cash price of corn, the cost of seed and the yield level that is reasonable for your farm.
For today's purpose I have used $5.00 per bushel, the current board price for new crop corn at our local elevator, $2.50 per thousand seed cost and 180 bushel yield environment.  A standard 5% stand loss is factored into the calculation.  I have selected 3 popular Pioneer hybrids that have very different population response curves. 

The chart below belongs to P0118HR.  The red line indicates the highest return as measured by net income on the left vs seed drop on the bottom.


Maximum income per acre is achieved at 31,532 seed drop for P0118HR.


Maximum income per acre is achieved at 34,995 seed drop for 38M58.


Maximum income per acre is achieved at 42,000 ????? seed drop.  38N88 is a very unique hybrid that can handle ultra-high populations and continue to produce yield. 

As we can see, not all hybrids are created equal when it comes to plant population.  Check it out.