As we are in full harvest mode in the Midwest, I am amazed at the yields that are coming out of these fields with so little rain late in the season.  I truly believe the reason for the better than expected yields this year is outstanding genetics.  Each year our genetic advancement improves quantitatively.  Better traits and treatments are extremely important but the factor that trumps everything is genetics. 

This thought was verified when I was talking to my good friend, Dave Mowers, consulting agronomist for AIM for the Heartland, Inc.   I asked him what are the major factors that affected corn yields this year and here was his response:

“I would say that the three major factors are: Genetics, Nitrogen Management and Soil Management. I believe those three factors affect 95% of the yield outcome. I realize that some yield increases are attributed to weed, insect and disease control. Further increases in yield can be attributed to fertility management, crop rotation, tillage and population. But I contend that the largest yield increases come from the first three factors.

Genetics are the single most important consideration in increasing yields. It appears that the biggest benefactor of improved genetics is the more marginal soils because we are seeing even greater percentage increases of yields on the marginal soils. Nevertheless, genetics appear to be the biggest contributor to improved yields.

Nitrogen Management is another important factor in increased yields. It is not how much Nitrogen is needed, but it is the placement and timing of Nitrogen applications that are making the biggest differences.

Soil Management covers a wide array of components. The most important is drainage. Then compaction needs high consideration. Better aeration, water holding capacity, and soil tilth are results of both drainage and compaction improvements.”

Each year we at ProHarvest are committed to providing the very best genetics to our customers so that, when the combines roll through the fields, you will know we have been with you all the way.

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