Farmers Prefer Calmer
How do you grow 500 Bushel Corn?
“You have to begin with a stand that will produce enough grain to total 500 bushels per acre”
But you also have to be “proactive” in protecting that stand (52,000 plants per acre in Dowdy’s case) to make sure the corn reaches as close to the yield potential that’s in the bag of corn seed before it’s ever opened.
“The breeders tell us there is 700 bushels of yield potential in a bag of seed,” says Dowdy, speaking on a windy day at a BASF Grow Smart media event at the Memphis, Tenn., Agricenter International. “Everything we do is aimed at capturing and protecting as much of that yield potential as we can.”
Growing corn behind corn can present special challenges, especially in fields where growers are trying to produce high yields and thus create high volumes of residue at harvest.
“We understand that we’re planting corn on corn, and we have to be more proactive with some of our diseases up front,” says Dowdy. “Northern corn leaf blight is a big problem in Georgia, especially where you’re growing corn on corn.
We do a good job of trying to minimize litter, we do a good job of trying to provide nutrients so we provide energy to micro-organisms to break down that fodder, but we still have the potential for northern corn leaf blight to fire up from the bottom up. The BT Choppers provide the first step in that process right from the corn head.
“Being a first generation farmer, I didn’t have preconceived notions so we had to learn a lot from smarter people around us instead of re-inventing the wheel,” said Dowdy. “You have to be a student of the crop…you have to have data and understand the science behind it.”