As the new Regional Agronomist, I have some big shoes to fill following Jesse Grogan; but I will do my best! Having been with the company for many years, I have met many of you at one time or the other and am looking forward to working with our sales and dealer force in the region!
2018 proved to be yet another unpredictable year with weather patterns that brought us more than enough rain at most times while at the same time keeping temperatures at or below average for most of the year. LG products excelled across the region from LG5525, LG5548 and LG5565 in the north; to the big three of LG5643, LG5650 and LG5663 in the southern areas. Our power packed lineup of new Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans made growers sit up and take notice. C2766RX and C3550RX excelled in the north while in central and southern areas C3775RX, C3985RX, C4227RX, C4615RX and C4845RX really “carried the mail”!
The planting season started out reasonably well in extreme southern Indiana and the Mid-South while Central and Northern Indiana had to wait till early May to get a good run in. As late April rolled around so did the heavy rains. A large area across SE Illinois and SW Indiana suffered through an 8-12-inch rain event that would cause thousands of acres of crops to be replanted later in May and June. Replant was the common theme in Northeast and East Central Indiana as well. Northwest Indiana escaped the brunt of the delays with a pretty average growing season. Kentucky and Tennessee had “record” replants, mostly from scattered heavy rain events in May.
Even with the wet conditions through most of the growing season, corn diseases did not explode as was expected. Northern Corn Leaf Blight and Grey Leaf Spot were scattered issues and the best news for southern growers was that the Southern Corn Rust issues proved to be later than the past two years and much less severe.
While diseases were minimal, another culprit hit soybeans. Many soybean growers in the southern areas faced and unprecedented outbreak of slugs. The slug issue was mostly confined to cover crop acres or those acres with weed cover before planting. Populations were so high that any delay in emergence allowed the slugs to feed on germinating seedlings causing many to die. Several bean fields were replanted and some were done two and even three times.
By the time we got to harvest, it was evident that the corn crop was going to be bigger than thought. Early yields were 20-30 bushels above historical field averages with many reports of 250 to 280-bushel corn and a few over 300. Soybean yields were a bit more erratic with average to below yields in parts of northern Indiana but above average in parts of Southern Indiana and Kentucky. In these areas, 70 to 80 bushel beans were fairly common on the earlier planted crop while yields on later and replanted fields were more normal yields of 50-60 bushels per acre.
Just as with the planting season, the harvest started in September and ran well in to November across the region. Many replanted acres were the main culprit. The harvest season went well for a stretch of about three weeks before scattered heavy rains once again caused parked combines. By the time most guys got rolling again they did a lot of switching from corn to beans as many bean fields seemed to mature faster than normal. Harvest issues were about normal with the exception some areas of Tennessee and Western Kentucky that got caught up in the remnants of Hurricane Harvey.
2017 is behind us now and while it had its challenges, we were blessed to achieve higher than expected yields in most areas to help offset the painful commodity prices of corn and beans. We can hope 2018 will be a little less dramatic and even more productive.
Have a Safe and Happy Holiday Season!
Note: The information in this issue is based upon field observations and third party information. Since variations in local conditions may affect the information and suggestions contained in this issue, LG Seeds disclaims legal responsibility therefore. Always read and follow label instructions.
Genuity®, Roundup Ready 2 Yield®, Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® are trademarks of Monsanto Technology, LLC. LibertyLink® is a trademark of Bayer CropScience. AgriShield® is a registered trademark of AgReliant Genetics, LLC. LG Seeds and design are trademarks of SCA Limagrain.