Welcome to the 2017 BASF Innovations in the Field. This yearlong program is designed to showcase four progressive farmers and their use of technology and agronomic practices to enhance their return on investment and profit potential. Check back each week for new blogs and videos from the farmers as they share their experiences and crop management decisions throughout the growing season. Here is a brief overview of our four participants.
Greetings from northwestern Illinois. Summer seems to be winding down quicker than normal. August has been feeling more like Mid-September!
While it has been great to work in these temperatures, our crop is missing out on much needed heat units. I'm thinking grain driers are going to be very busy this fall. In fact, I booked my LP already for the winter and the talk here locally is a considerable price increase coming soon. School starts soon as well so that usually brings the heat back into the forecast. We'll see.
Moisture wise, we have been very fortunate this summer. We've run the irrigators a few times around, but haven't had any long dry spells. Locally, we just received a nice rain this past week— 0.6- to 2-inch range. We had a nice field of soybeans get hammered with hail, and reports of widespread quarter-size hail west of us 20 miles with quite a bit of crop damage.
I just finished the last of the Headline Amp spraying on some late-planted seed corn fields. The next and final step in the seed corn is spraying Defol, which will get underway over the next 2 weeks. The product basically turns the plant completely brown and is used to help increase the cold germ on the seed, among several other benefits.
Over the past few days, I have been taking "preliminary" yield estimates in corn. Assuming the weather cooperates through grain fill and dry down, we are going to have great yields. I mentioned in my July blog that our corn looks as good as it ever has, and my opinion hasn't varied much. We do have some ear tip pullback in most of the fields I've checked, but our ear count is higher than we have ever had. I remain very optimistic. The Headline Amp did its job very well— the ear leaf and above remains disease free.
Soybeans are also looking very good. I don't have a lot of confidence on soybean yield estimates, but I have never seen so many 4 bean pods in my life. With the pods on the top part of the plant still not fully developed, I'm cautious about making any yield guesses as they are far from being in the bin. I have been happy with every dimension of our Dicamba soybeans this year. Seeing the yield potential as we go through August is icing on the cake.
Stay safe out there!