Starting the seed decision process

The seed guide and yield monitor data may not be the best starting points, as you begin thinking about next year’s crop genetics. Agtegra Regional Seed Sales Manager Clint Matthews instead suggests first evaluating the big picture scope of your operation.
 
“Our growers are faced with an enormous number of decisions every season, many of which can drastically alter the operation’s outcome for the coming year,” says Matthews. “By developing a detailed farm plan with a trusted advisor that may include your local Agtegra agronomist, you can begin alignment of your priorities and goals with your inputs.”
 
Now desk work is not always a preferred use of time for producers, and Matthews gets that. But its help in establishing bottom line benchmarks can make this time very well spent. “Planning now can help you understand your cash flow needs throughout the season, and gets those target dates on the calendar,” notes Matthews. That early planning also helps with the advantages of best-season discounts, as well as the opportunities for more attractive financing options, for all inputs.
 
Then there’s the seed itself. “Obviously that’s a major component to production for the year,” says Matthews. Like every year, he anticipates a few key products will run tight in supply, especially some of the newer hybrids and varieties. The growing season that challenged farmers in the Agtegra trade territory could also impact seed supply. “Right now, supplies look good, but I’d urge farmers to stay on the front side and not wait too long, as there could be some potential issues of tighter seed supply,” says Matthews.
 
Some decision making on seed now means better supply availability and earlier season value, providing the best opportunity for input ROI. Seed decisions now can also be grounded in agronomics, not emotion. “Making those decisions early removes a lot of emotion based solely on this year’s results,” notes Matthews. He says time and time again, he has seen that the smarter seed decisions are made before harvest.
 
That’s because of how growing seasons work. It’s probably going to be a long time before growers run into a season like the one coming to a finish. “There’s a lot of  hybrid-by-environment interaction, that will impact year-end results,” says Matthews. “Making decisions based on the agronomics of those products and what we know are the averages for the fields, really more ensures we are selecting the right products for that field.”
 
Another aspect of an overall farm plan includes nutrient management. Looking at seed selection now allows growers to match fertility plans to specific seed products. Different hybrids have different nutrition requirements for making desired yield goals. With fall traditionally having seasonal lows on fertilizer pricing, there’s more purchasing power to those inputs this time of year. “Matching fertility plans to seed is integral to your farm plan,” says Matthews. “It’s all the different pieces of the puzzle that fit together.”
 
Trait dynamics will also impact the herbicide portion of your farm plan. This is a year Matthews says that a talk with your agronomist about the many trait technologies could be a conversation worth having. From Roundup Ready® 2 Xtend to Enlist, to LibertyLink® GT27™ to conventional—it’s a complicated world of herbicide compliance and management these days.
 
Points to look at as you select systems include specific weed pressures, your current herbicide program and what products have the right agronomic fit for your ground. “Talking it out can help with understanding the pros and cons of each trait system, all of which can help you identify the ones that are the best fit for your operation,” says Matthews.
 
With a whole-farm plan as a cornerstone, seed and all the other components and inputs can more successfully be aligned in today’s challenging ag economy. “Making a solid plan now, early, can help insure you don’t miss any opportunities along the way, that can help you further achieve goals,” says Matthews.
 

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