Farmer Chris Hudson and Ron Olson, senior agronomist for the Mosaic Co., explain the science behind management practices at the Hudson family farm in Crawfordsville, Ind. They participated in an event seeking innovative ways to increase yields, The Pursuit of 300, The Road to High Yields Tour.
Farmer Chris Hudson and Ron Olson, senior agronomist for the Mosaic Co., explain the science behind management practices at the Hudson family farm in Crawfordsville, Ind. They participated in an event seeking innovative ways to increase yields, The Pursuit of 300, The Road to High Yields Tour.
CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. — For farmers, the pursuit for higher yields is a critical aspect of business.

The Pursuit of 300, The Road to High Yields Tour highlighted six farmers across the Corn Belt who are actively seeking innovative ways to increase yields.

The last stop of the tour was at the Hudson family farm in Crawfordsville. Curt Hudson and son Chris jointly farm 2,600 acres of corn and soybeans.

They decided to participate in the program after attending the Farm Progress Show a year ago.

“The Pursuit of 300 is really not about achieving that (300 bushels per acre). It’s about the journey, about sharing ideas and information,” said Tom Fry, sales manager of premier products of the Mosaic Co.

“As incredible as production agriculture is today, there’s still lots of opportunities for improvement. There are ways we can limit the negative impact of weeds and insects and increase populations.”

Other principles of the Pursuit of 300 include minimizing impact of weather variability, maximizing light interception in each field and providing balanced crop nutrition.

The tour was an initiative of the Mosaic Co. Each farmer participating in the program worked with a Mosaic agronomist and a retail partner to develop farm-specific plans to increase yields and maximize efficiency.

“This has been a way for various stakeholders to get together and share best practices as a team,” said Ron Olson, senior agronomist at the Mosaic Co. “But it’s also been a great way for these six farmers across six states to share best practices, to learn from each other.”

A year ago, Olson sat down with the Hudson family to strategize planting for the year. He and another agronomist provided ideas and changes for the family to consider in an effort to improve yields.

“For instance, increasing their plant population,” Olson said. “They’ve been raising high yields, and they’ve been doing it with 20-inch rows, but we asked them to think about increasing their plant population.”

A plot of more than 100 acres was used as the testing grounds for new practices at the Hudson farm.

The Hudsons also used new tools to evaluate how nutrition was being utilized by the crop on the test plot.

“We dug a soil pit to evaluate the health of the root system that’s feeding this crop,” Olson said. “The system was doing its job. The plant tissue analysis showed a really good balance of nutrition. All signs lead toward a good crop this year.”

After harvest, they will compare yield results of the test plot to the rest of the farm. Chris Hudson said they plan to make practice changes on a whole-farm basis after learning the results.

“Probably the two most enjoyable aspects of being a part of the program is obviously having resources like Ron and being able to take advantage of their expertise,” he said. “But also networking with the other growers.”

To follow the journey of the Hudson family farm, visit www.pursuitof300.com.