Keith Byerly is the Advanced Cropping Systems (ACS) manager with Central Valley Ag, a diverse farmer’s cooperative serving members in Nebraska, Kansas and Iowa. Byerly oversees the cooperative’s precision farming products and service platforms and is also a member of the Independent Precision Ag Alliance, a collaborative peer group of precision farming dealers from throughout North America.
Today I present to you “Keith’s 10 rules of Planting Corn in the Western Corn Belt.” I have borrowed a couple from another list I saw, but mainly these are rules that I myself, or other agronomists here at CVA, have been promoting for several years.
I don’t know when planting season will start, but I do know that when it does, it will feel like we are going 100 mph. When we are in the tractor, with that planter hooked up behind us, we find ourselves in a state of conflict.
Most all of us, myself included, lost our patience during the end of September and early October with the wet conditions that wouldn’t exit our area. And as soon as we could get back into the field, there we were, mud on the tires, loading trucks on the road, back at it again.
It seems to me all too often in life, as consumers we are presented with solutions or products that are in search of a problem. This, of course, is counter-intuitive to what we should have, which is a problem in search of a solution.
Every single year in March we have great intentions for our new Soybean fields. We are going to get a pre-emergence herbicide on them to get better weed control for the growing season and help manage our herbicide program costs.
Biologicals, inhibitors, and many other products are seeing the culmination of a growing season. And while we are operationally focused, there is a wealth of data streaming into out monitors to feed a winter worth of study and decision making.
You have a lot of external things vying for your time. Family, civic duties, and many other things ask for a piece of you each and every day. Balancing those with your farm operation is always a juggling act, and there is no easy time of year. How do we prioritize these events, and categorize them, so we get the most out of them?
There is no doubt that in the last 20 years we have come a long way in reading what our fields tell us. Whether it has been the wide adoption of soil sampling, yield monitors, or even the advent of infield sensors like moisture probes, we have come a long way in learning how to read the signs that our fields give us.
According to the USDA’s Farm and Land in Farms report published earlier this year, the average U.S. farm size has increased about 10 acres from 2012-2019, to 444. But the number of farms has decreased by more than 86,000 during that same span. There are a variety of factors contributing to the decrease and the last few years have further challenged some small and mid-size operations to remain profitable.
The college offers an associate degree in Applied Science in Agriculture (60 credit hours). Students enrolled in this program may specialize in precision farming technology by selecting up to 15 credit hours in this area and agriculture business, sales and agronomy.
The college offers an AAS in Precision Agriculture and customized precision ag- related training for agricultural producers, insurance underwriters, equipment dealer and agricultural cooperative employees and others.
Offering training on Ag Leader, Trimble, Reichhardt, Norac and Integris Systems in twice yearly customer training events (spring/fall). Also offering individual training opportunities on any HTS Ag products and SMS software, year round.