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Corn: historical grain yields for the U.S.

Historical grain yields provide us with a glimpse of yields yet to come, although like the stock markets, past performance is no guarantee of the future. The historical yield data for corn in the U.S. illustrate the positive impact of improved crop genetics and crop production technologies.

From 1866, the first year USDA began to publish corn yield estimates, through about 1936, yields of open-pollinated corn varieties in the U.S. remained fairly stagnant and averaged about 26 bu/ac (1.6 MT/ha) throughout that 70-year period. Amazingly, the historical data indicate there was no appreciable change in productivity during that entire time period (Fig. 1), even though farmers’ seed-saving practices represented a form of Read more

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Crop planning is key to learn from past mistakes or misses

Winter is a perfect time to look back at what you’ve learned, and crop planning is key.

The 2016 season has long passed and the busyness of life has taken a pause. Winter is a perfect time to look back at what you’ve learned from last year’s experiences, and apply that knowledge towards crop planning for 2017.

One of the most important ways to improve is to create a complete crop plan for how to implement those changes. Creating a detailed and comprehensive crop plan allows you to stay focused. Crop plans can allow your operation to improve on specific issues. It also allows you to try innovative concepts on your farm.

There is so much to think about. Read more