Calmer Agronomic Research Farm

Marion Calmer

Meet Marion Calmer: Farmer, Inventor, Researcher 

Marion Calmer, a farmer, inventor and researcher from western Illinois, is the founder of Calmer’s Ag Research Center, the largest independently-funded, farmer-run Ag research center in the United States. He is credited with inventing the world’s first single-chain, narrow-row-independent corn head for 12- and 15-inch rows, along with building the world’s largest corn heads. As the owner of more than a dozen patents that have helped revolutionize the Ag industry in America, Marion’s top priority is to help other farmers maximize their potential profits through research and innovation. 

Having spent thousands of hours doing on-farm research, along with modifying and inventing farm machinery, Marion has dedicated his life to helping the American farmer. 

2018 On-Farm Research 

“Thank you for your interest in my on-farm research. Just 1 year of research is enough to get you thinking about your farming process, so imagine how much I’ve learned and the changes I’ve made throughout the years! The information in this research book is the data I’ve found to be true at my farm in western Illinois. I strongly encourage you to do your own on-farm research to better understand ways to maximize your farm’s potential profits.”

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Corn Row Spacing Studies

*Conditions: Cool Growing Season/Damp Summer

Economics

At my farm, in 2014, 15" corn rows were $60/AC more profitable than 30" corn rows @ $5/bu.

Economics

At my farm, from 2010-2014, 15" corn rows were $40/AC more profitable than 30" corn rows @ $5/bu.





Corn Population Studies

@320/Bag, 1K seeds cost $4

Economics

At my farm, in 2014, 35k was the most profitable population to plant Stine 9733 @ $5/bu.

@320/Bag, 1K seeds cost $4

Economics

At my farm, in 2014, 30k and 35k were equally as profitable populations to plant Stine 9740 @ $5/bu.





Corn Hybrid Studies

@320/Bag, 1K seeds cost $4

Economics

At my farm, 28k was the most profitable population to plant corn over a 5-year period. With a corn value of $5/bu, 28k was $11/AC more profitable than 32k and $27/AC more profitable than 36k.

@320/Bag, 1K seeds cost $4

Economics

At my farm, in 2014, Decal 62-97 was $40/AC more profitable @ 35k than Stine 9740 @ 40K and $65/AC more profitable than Stine 9733 @ 40k. Corn value @ $5/bu.

2015 Corn Hybrid Study

Load Hybrid Seed Yield
19 Decalb @28K 218
20 Decalb @36K 206
21 Funks @28K 186
22 Funks @36K 191
23 Funks @28K 200
24 Funks @36K 199




Soybean Row Spacing Studies

Economics

At my farm, in 2012, soybeans planted in 15" rows were $72/AC more profitable than soybeans planted in 30" rows @ $12/bu.

Economics

At my farm, from 2009-2012, soybeans planted in 15" rows were $48/AC more profitable than soybeans planted in 30" rows @ $12/bu.





Soybean Population Studies

As population increases, so does the potential for lodging and white mold.

Economics

At my farm, in 2015, 50K was the most profitable population to plant soybeans. @ $60/bag, this is approx. $10 for 25K seeds. Soybean value @ $10/bu.

Economics

At my farm, from 2010-2015, 50K was the most profitable population to plant soybeans. @ $60/bag, this is approx. $10 for 25K seeds. Soybean value @ $10/bu.





Dry Fertilizer Studies

2002-2005 Economic Response to
$40 worth of P&K Fertilizer

  • 2002: 3.2bu Corn X $2.50 = $8.00
  • 2003: 1.7bu Soybean X $6.00 = $10.20
  • 2004: 4.6bu Corn X $2.50 = $11.50
  • 2005: 1.2bu Soybean X $6.00 = $7.20
The Results: Spent $40 in fertilizer to gain $36.90 in grain = net loss of $3.10/AC

2006-2007 Economic Response to
$50 worth of P&K Fertilizer

  • 2006: 1.2bu Soybean X $6.00 = $7.20
  • 2007: 4.3bu Corn X $3.50 = $15.05
The Results: Spent $50 in fertilizer to gain $22.25 in grain = net loss of $27.75/AC

Long Term Fertility Level of Plots

DEPTH PHOSPHOROUS POTASSIUM % O.M.
Fertilized with P&K for 9 years 0"-4" 56 #/AC 330 #/AC 3.2%
5"-8" 19 #/AC 172 #/AC 2.8%
DEPTH PHOSPHOROUS POTASSIUM % O.M.
No P&K fertilizer for 9 years 0"-4" 21 #/AC 214 #/AC 2.9%
5"-8" 21 #/AC 178 #/AC 2.8%
Fertilizer applied previous fall



Long Term Economic Response Data to Dry P&K Fertilizer

Year Crop Cost of P&K Yield Gain Grain Price Net Profit
2009 Corn $100 (.43) bu X $5 = $(102)
2010 SB $50 1.8 bu X $10 = $(32)
2011 Corn $100 16.6 bu X $5 = $(17)
2012 SB $50 3.7 bu X $12 = $(6)
2013 Corn $100 10.2 bu X $5 = $(49)
2014 SB $50 6.4 bu X $10 = $14
2015 Corn $100 7 bu X $4 = $(72)
2016 SB $50 (2.3) bu X $10 = $(73)
2017 Corn $100 15.5 X $3 = $(54)
Average Corn Loss: $48/AC Average Soybean Loss: $24/AC Cumulative Loss of $391/AC




Phosphorus and Potassium (P&K) Studies

Since 1985, Calmer’s Research Farm has done multiple P&K fertilizer studies, including dry, liquid, fall and spring applications, in furrow, broadcast and deep banded. 2014 was the first year that I had a profitable response!

2017 Phosphorus Levels

0"-4"
Deep
21 #/AC
5"-8"
Deep
21 #/AC
$0 worth of P&K applied in the past 9 years
56 #/AC 0"-4"
Deep
19 #/AC 5"-8"
Deep
$700 worth of P&K applied in the past 9 years

2017 Potassium Levels

0"-4"
Deep
214 #/AC
5"-8"
Deep
178 #/AC
$0 worth of P&K applied in the past 9 years
330 #/AC 0"-4"
Deep
172 #/AC 5"-8"
Deep
$700 worth of P&K applied in the past 9 years




Nitrogen @ $1,000/Ton/$.60# Corn value @ $5/bu




Miscellaneous Studies





In 2016, The University of Illinois’ Department of Crop Sciences found that Calmer BT Chopper® Stalk Rolls increase continuous corn yields by an average of 6 bu per acre when compared to OEM stalk rolls!

Mechanical residue management in corn on corn the previous fall (A and B) and at the R3 growth stage the following season (C and D): Standard stalk rollers (A and C) and Calmer’s BT Chopper® (B and D).

Day of Emergence

Data compliments of Alison Vogel, Tryston Beyrer and Dr. Fred Below – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Crop Sciences

"BT Choppers chop the stalks and now we don't have to shred afterwards. Does a nice clean job, so it's ready for planting."

- Al Effenbeck, Deshler, NE