MEASURING RESULTS. Through replicated trials, Jim Leverich identified hybrids that could increase yields 25 bushels above the average of the 20 top hybrids on his farm â?? and earn $75 to $100 more per acre.

When You ‘Measure To Manage,’ You Become More Profitable

Evaluating corn hybrids and soil testing for fertilizer needs can lead to big improvements in your bottom line.

With skyrocketing input prices like seed and fertilizer, it pays to measure your production and more closely manage your inputs. One of my favorite management slogans is, “Measure to manage.” Without measuring your inputs and yields, it’s really hard to manage to the highest level of profit.

In the past with lower input costs, we could afford to be a little less cautious with our input applications. But with input costs doubling and even tripling on fertilizer and seed, we need to fine-tune application rates and hybrid and variety selection.

Hybrid Selection.

Hybrid performance can vary substantially with different environments. It may pay to start evaluating hybrid performance on your farm, rather than relying solely on data from other locations. A 15-to 20-bushel yield swing could mean $50 to $100 more net income per acre.

Every year, we plant two or three corn hybrids from eight to 10 seed companies to measure how they perform on various soil types on our farm. With a yield monitor and a scale on the grain cart, it’s easy to measure performance. Hybrids should be replicated at least three times to ensure accurate performance results.

We split the planter in half and plant two hybrids. To be efficient, we set up plots so three replications of each hybrid use up nearly one unit of each hybrid.

We also use our guidance system to randomize the planting of these three replications across a field or group of fields. After planting these replications, we vacuum out…

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Leverich jim

Jim Leverich

No-Till Farmer's Conservation Ag Operator Fellow for 2022, Jim Leverich is a no-till farmer near Sparta, Wis. His 1,000 acre-farm has been in his family since 1864 and no-tilled since 1984. An innovator and educator, Leverich has 35-plus years of no-till and on-farm research experience, and possesses a deep, practical understanding of what makes no-till work. For his contributions while at the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension Service, Leverich was named the No-Till Innovator of the Year (Research & Education category) in 2006. A talented presenter and writer, Leverich was a regular guest columnist for No-Till Farmer in 2011 when it earned the Gold Medal as the nation’s top newsletter from the American Society of Business Press Editors.

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