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Crops start slow, gain momentum in north-central Wisconsin corn, soybean field trial

Dan Hansen
Correspondent
Hayden Henry, precision farming specialist with Swiderski Equipment, left, and Jordan Weiler, Sales agronomist at Cropping Central presented the core principals of our the trials.

EDGAR, Wis. – Pioneer by Corteva™ in collaboration with Swiderski Equipment inc., Precision Planting and White Planters set up a trial in North Central Wisconsin comparing planter and non-planter agronomics on corn and soybeans for 2020. 

A crop tour field day was held in late summer to provide area growers with preliminary results. Dave Murphy, Paul Krause, Hayden Henry and Jordean Weiler were among the presenters at the event.

They reported that six different corn trials were planted revolving around planter fundamentals and the pursuit of higher yielding corn.

After a relatively cool April, planting began in late April and early May across north central Wisconsin. 

The test plots on Kevin Iczkowski’s western Marathon County farm were planted on May 12 in silt loam soil with 30-inch rows.

Ideal conditions

Ground conditions were some of the best seen in recent years.  Although soil temperatures were cool, at 50 degrees F or less, there was very little impact on the stand.

Planting populations were achieved with an average stand of 35,000, 32K in the standard management block and 36K in the high management block.

GDU (growing degree units) accumulation was slow in mid-May but gained momentum and was close to 100 above the 20-year average. After some cool spells in late July and early August, the crop rebounded was was 42 GDU’s behind the 20-year average.

Precipitation was relatively consistent through July but was significantly lower in August leaving the crop 2 inches below normal and showing signs of moisture stress.

Six different planting depths were used, ranging from .5 inches to 3 inches at 1/2-inch increments. Planting depths of 1.5, 2 and 2.5 inches recorded the best singulation with all three running at or above 97%. The poorest was .5 inches with only a 92% singulation.

Planter down-pressure

The planter was equipped with delta force to enable row units to adjust down pressure precisely by row compared to traditional springs or air bags.

For the trial, no weight was applied for the low setting, a range of 75-100 pounds was applied in the auto setting and 200 pounds were applied in the heavy down-force pass.

Two different plants were used to determine singulation. The control plate has a proven singulation of 99.6% and the “goof plate” was designed to simulate skips with plugged holes, and doubles with extra holes drilled between the factory, and was designed to simulate 95.1 % accuracy.

While POGO Stick data recorded nearly identical populations, singulation dropped 2.5% without furrow force. Emergence was more consistent with furrow-force treatment, and there was less delayed emergence.

Input variations

Many acres of corn in north-central Wisconsin are planted with only a few gallons of pop-up fertilizer. The 2020 trial compared 5 gallons of 6-24-6 applied with Furrow Jet vs. 5 gallons of 6-24-6 and an additional 10 gallons of 26-0-0-2S and 10 gallons of 10-34-0 applied in a surface band 2 inches over from the seed.

Among the presenters during the crop tour field day were: Dave Murphy, Regional Manager at 360 Yield Center, left, and Paul Krause, sales agronomist at Cropping Central. They discussed the high management trial.

There was noticeably more early season growth and development in the treatment with the 2x0 band just after emergence and into the later negative stages. Both treatments were side-dressed the same, meaning the 2x0 band treatment received 40 extra pounds of N and P205, respectively.

In the standard management block P, K and S were broadcast prior to planting. P9211AM™ was planted at 32K with 5 gallons of 6-24-6 applied at planting with Furrow Jet. A single side-dress application @ V-5 brought the total N to 150 pounds per acre.

P, K and S also were broadcast pre-plant in the high management block. But P9211AM™ was planted at 36K with 5 gallons of 6-24-6 applied at planting with Furrow Jet and 10 gallons of 26-0-0-3S and 10 gallons 28% applied in a surface band over the seed. 

Half of the side-dress N was applied at V5 with the second half applied at V10 for a total of 250 pounds of N per acre. Fungicide was applied at R1.

Soybean Trial

Pioneer by Corteva™ was planted as part of three different 2020 soybean trials.

Four planting depths were used ranging from .5 inches to 2 inches, in half-inch increments. The most consistent emergence was at the 1inch and 1.5-inch planting depths.

The planter was equipped with delta force to enable row units to adjust down pressure precisely and by row, versus traditional springs or air bags.

For the trial, 60 pounds were applied for the low setting, and a range of 150-200 pounds was applied in the auto setting, and 300 pounds of down pressure were applied in the heavy down-force pass.

Beans were planted in 30-inch rows at, 40,000, 80,000, 120,000 and 160,000, respectively. They were then planted in 15-inch rows at 40, 80, 120 and 160K, respectively.

Higher populations led to increased growth and development that started shortly after emergence and was still visible late into the reproductive stages in both row spacings.

Half of each row spacing by population treatment received a single R3 pass of Approach on July 16, while the other half went untreated. The objective was to tie together the three most influential with available mold management tools.

Complete field-trial results are expected to be available later this year.