The 2016 corn yield contest winners typically foliar-fed and side-dressed nutrients through the season to keep corn healthy and adding kernel depth and nutrient density late into the season. Here’s an example of an Iowa grower on rolling ground who does the same — with high-yielding results.
Nov. 24, 2016 — On Sept. 24 we published a detailed description of how grower Dave Schwartz enhanced his healthy soil in Guthrie County, IA with a season-long fertility program which kept corn green and filling until late October, when he harvested corn at around 16% moisture. This is a link to that original report.
Dave Schwartz emphasized to us last September that a biologically healthy, living soil is essential as the foundation for added fertility elements. A soil that doesn’t have much biological capacity to respond to in-furrow or foliar or broadcast fertilizer may show some yield increase, but not much.
Some of the acres harvested on the Schwartz farm had received late-season foliar treatment with a product called Bio Empruv, which is formulated to improve the crop’s resistance to disease, especially the current form of Goss’s wilt.
Here’s the followup report with harvest results. Crop consultant Bob Streit describes what he saw from the combine.
Bob Streit, left, with Steve Schwartz
“In previous weekly summaries, I mentioned field trials using Bio Empruv to keep the corn green and filling until early October.
“When I visited the Schwartz farm in late October, none of the early dying corn was seen, even on low CSR, steep sloped Guthrie County ground. The yield benefit from the season-long nutrition program — versus non-treated — was over 50 bu. per acre.
“Ground that had never averaged over 165 bu. was in the 245 to 250 Bu/A range. Where the ground was better and flatter, the combine monitor varied in the 280 to 300 bu. range. That 300-bu. peak proved to be a limit in the monitor’s programming, though. A neighbor’s combine with a higher yield limit showed corn topping out around 340 bushels.
The pith in the stalks was still white, solid and juicy and the corn tested 16-18% moisture in late October. Plant intactness was superb.
“What has to be done now is to figure out how this soil, which has a good Haney biology score, interacted with the fertility program to increase yields so dramatically. The entire program included stabilized N, in-furrow micros, the new Take-Off N management product discovered at Los Alamos, and the hybrid genetics.
“Is the program repeatable? Definitely. Other growers across the state [who used similar season-long nutritional health programs] also saw their corn stay green and continue to fill until early October. That pumped out memorable yields.
“As far as return on investment, using such a program produced results far beyond that of any single new product or device released in the last two decades. Expect this information to be discussed at winter meetings.”