As harvest approaches, it’s time to start planning for the 2018 crop. Since what you do in the fall will have an important impact on next year’s yields, I’ve put together the following list of areas you should assess on your farm in the coming months.

Planter Performance: Planting seed in the right seedbed at the right depth and spacing is your most important goal. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you evaluate your planter’s 2017 performance:

 

Seed Selection: What characteristics did you like or dislike about this year’s seed choices? Specifically, what did you observe in regards to:

 

Fertility: Soil fertility often gets overlooked since phosphorus and potassium are already available in the soil. However, much like a bank account, too many withdrawals from the soil bank and few deposits can result in overdrafts. Your soil fertility checklist should include the following:

 

Weed Control: This was the first year dicamba-tolerant soybeans were used in Iowa. Dicamba is definitely a tool that should be considered if other options are no longer doing the job against weeds like waterhemp. It does, however, require extra management in application. Keep the following in mind for your 2018 weed control program:

 

Taking time to assess this year’s crop while it is fresh in your mind will help you make good business decisions as you plan your 2018 crop inputs. As a result, you could see big dividends in terms of yield next year.

As always, feel free reach out to your local Key Coopera­tive Agronomist or Centrol Precision Ag Specialist for all your agronomy and technology needs.

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