Up and down is about the best way I can really describe the entire season. We’re suffering through some pretty disappointing markets, so that tempers our excitement from some of the good yields we saw in many fields. On the other hand, we had some areas that got pounded with all sorts of bad weather- early season hail, too much rain, high winds, more hail… and those fields paid the price at harvest. Diseases like Sudden Death Syndrome and Northern Corn Leaf Blight- to name a few that thrived in the wet weather 2014 brought us- trimmed the “top end” off of many fields, and in some areas they cut much deeper than that.
Most of us were pretty happy to see the Clones beat the Hawks in football… then the wheels pretty much came off both teams football seasons. A lot of us were excited to see the KC Royals get to the World Series; then pretty bummed to have them come so close but not quite take the title. I’d like to say we’re optimistic about the KC Chiefs playoff chances… probably a stretch to use the term “optimistic” though. And we got off to a pretty good start on dry fertilizer and fall NH3… then boom, the door shut on the NH3 anyway. As long as the snow doesn’t pile up too deep we will likely be back at the dry fert and lime next week.
Now that we are just about done picking corn, it’s a great time to line up some time to sit down with your seed suppliers. Those early pay discounts and preliminary orders may need some adjustments after we analyze our own yield data and take a hard look at local yield trials and plots. Double check what traits you may or may not need and see if there are a few opportunities to increase production or decrease seed costs depending on your needs. It’s also a great time to give the fertility plans a good look; if possible build up deficiencies and talk over how to approach the most efficient use of your fertilizer dollars given the economics we are dealing with.
It’s been another interesting year; looking back at the 2014 blog entries really illustrated the up and down nature of the season. I want to thank our readers, and we especially appreciate all of you who mention how much you enjoy the blog in conversations we have throughout the year. Have a great Thanksgiving and let’s look forward to (and hope for) a great 2015 crop (and Crop Watch Blog) year.