As I contemplated the theme for this month’s ramblings, we were in the throes of an impending “no-rain disaster.” Growers were not interested in walking their fields with me to analyze their planter’s 2017 operating performance. The importance of a perfect stand seems minimal when dust is blowing across the field. Now that some relief has been granted, we need to look forward to 2018. The best time to discover needed planter improvements is when corn plants are small enough to analyze. For example, at this stage it is easy determine the timing of emergence, one of the key factors in determining final yield potential.
One of the newest tools from Precision Planting is the “Pogo.” This Pogo is not to be confused with the pogo stick of my youth, which I never did master. The art of bouncing and balancing at the same time (on a gravel driveway) eluded me. The Precision Pogo is an instrument used to help evaluate corn stands and planter performance. This device allows us to measure emergence, singulation, spacing, final planted population versus intended population and more. All of this information is gathered and put on scorecard to help us make the correct adjustments and needed improvements to our planters before we break them out to plant in 2018. This is a great tool and I encourage you to contact our office so we can schedule a field of yours to Pogo. Now is the time to look forward to next year!
As I marvel at state- of- the- art- technologies in agriculture today, like the Pogo and other Precision Planting technology planter components, I am feeling proud, lucky, and a bit patriotic. US Secretary of Agriculture Perdue recently released this comment: “Floods, droughts, and natural disasters are a fact of life for farmers, ranchers, and foresters. They have persevered in the past, and they will adapt in the future – with the assistance of the scientists and experts at USDA. To be effective, our research and programs need to be focused on finding solutions and providing state-of-the-art technologies to improve management decisions on farm and on forest lands.”
The American farmer has been persevering, adapting, improving, and advancing with good ol’ Yankee ingenuity for more than 200 years. While the weather is a factor that farmers cannot control, we CAN control how we respond to them. Utilization of the continued improvements in available technologies is one way to combat the effects of Mother Nature. Pushing crop yield barriers is something all farmers strive to accomplish. We can’t stop now, it’s the American way!
Image Credit: Torbakhopper