April 14, 2024

High-yielders recognized for efforts

Asgrow South Region: Jennifer Elliott (from left), DEKALB Asgrow field sales representative; Jacob Meyer, first place; Tyler Six, second place; Mark Poffenberger and John Poffenberger, third place; and Chris Kallal, DEKALB Asgrow technical agronomist.

PLEASANT PLAINS, Ill. — The top west-central Illinois Yield Chasers were honored during a special event hosted by DEKALB and Asgrow.

This marked the second year of the corn and soybean yield contests for the 19-county region.

“Our yield competition is really easy to enter. There are two ways that a farmer can exchange their data with us for us to determine our winners,” said Erik Curry, DEKALB Asgrow west-central Illinois area business manager.

“The first way is to weigh a minimum 1.25 acres and provide yield using a scale ticket. An even easier way, and I would say a majority of our farmers do this, is utilize their Climate FieldView account and they draw a Climate FieldView region report.”

Growers can pick whatever hybrid or variety they want to use on any of their fields and then share those results.

In terms of crop management details to achieve those high yields, Curry said growers are not required to provide details.

“However, I would say if you were to ask all the winners what they did to try to that maximum output, it would be managing that acre more meticulously then maybe some others,” he said.

“So, it’s always about at least one pass of fungicide, maybe two, some sort of in-furrow program, obviously their nitrogen program. It’s always a high-yield management type approach.”

The contest was divided into north and south regions of west-central Illinois for both corn and soybeans.

Here are the first-place winners in each category.

Asgrow South Region

Jacob Meyer of Meyer Farms, Concord, had the top Asgrow soybean yield in the south region, averaging 106 bushels per acre.

“I farm with my father and I have two brothers who help on the side. We farm a little over 6,000 acres of corn and soybeans, about half irrigated and half nonirrigated. We have a wide range of soil, from some river bottom to prairie dirt,” Meyer said.

“The contest calls for a 10-acre plot. We vertical till and plant soybeans right into that in the spring. We do a little bit of strip-till, but mainly we’re conventional tillage, especially in the river bottoms. We plant early after we make sure the soil is ready. We use fungicides and basically with the management of each crop we watch it weekly. Brandt has some good products that foliar feed the plants.”

Asgrow North Region: Will LaFary (from left), third place; Drew Kastner, second place; Randy Rogers, first place; Chris Bachman, DEKALB Asgrow field sales representative; and Lance Tarochione, DEKALB Asgrow technical agronomist.

Asgrow North Region

Randy Rogers of RM Farms, Minier, won the Asgrow north region soybean contest with an average yield of 114.53 bushels per acre average across his 10-acre plot.

“We’re basically 50-50 corn and soybeans every year across 2,800 acres. My farming partner is Kelly Mass and we have a couple of great part-time employees,” Rogers said.

“We had 10 acres that was in corn the year before. We applied a foliar growth regulator twice. When we were going to put the growth regulator on, another company gave us some stuff to put in with it and I think it helped, too. So, we’re going use it again this year.

“We put a little extra nitrogen, potash and stuff like that on it. We applied fungicide twice. We planted a full-season soybean which I think helps. I think we got it planted on April 13, and I really think that helps tremendously.

“We’re fortunate enough that we own two 16-row plants, so we never have to make the decision on whether we’re going to plant corn or soybeans. We can plant corn with one and soybeans with on.”

DeKalb North Region: Marie Rumbold (from left), DEKALB Asgrow field sales representative; Aaron Guerrettaz, first place; Randy Rogers, second place; Melanie DeSutter and Mike DeSutter, third place; Lance Tarochione, DEKALB Asgrow technical agronomist; and Chris Bachman, DEKALB Asgrow field sales representative.

DEKALB North Region

Aaron Guerrettaz of Elliot Farms, Monmouth, had the leading DEKALB contest corn yield in the north region at 371 bushels per acre.

“We have a family-run operation. I married into the family. My wife and I moved back to the area and I started farming with her family. We also have an Asgrow/DEKALB seed business. We farm around 5,500 to 6,000 acres, raising corn and soybeans,” Guerrettaz said.

“We applied fungicide at V5. We strip-till. We applied Pivot Bio. We started trying that two years ago and had a really good outcome with it. We were one of the lucky ones to get some much needed rain in late July. It was dry in June.

“We didn’t really know what yields we were going to have, but when we got out in the field after the rain we were kind of beyond shocked at how good the yields were. All of our corn crop was decent, but that (contest) field seemed to do the best.”

DEKALB South Region: Jennifer Elliott (from left), DEKALB Asgrow field sales representative; Joe Meyer, first place; Jacob Meyer, second place; Jarod Stock, third place; and Chris Kallal, DEKALB Asgrow technical agronomist.

DEKALB South Region

Joe Meyer, Virginia, received DEKALB’s first place honors in the south region with a corn yield of 311 bushels per acre.

“We farm about 2,800 acres of corn and soybeans in Cass County. There’s a lot of range of different soil types, and we also have a little irrigation,” Meyer said.

“I got the high yield on irrigated corn. I do all strip-till on my corn. I really pay a lot of attention to what hybrid I put on which soil type. We try to pay special attention to drainage issues. From there, we try to make sure the fertility is correct and use micronutrients, fungicide, and definitely pay close attention to irrigation management on that type of soil.

“This year irrigation was especially important and good moisture-holding soil capacity. That was probably the biggest thing. Other years, the micronutrients have played a big part in getting some extra bushels and then we’ve been top-dressing with sulfur also.

“I do fertigation at times, a lot of it depends on what we’re seeing. We do a little bit of tissue testing to check to make sure where we are at on nitrogen and sulfur levels especially to make that decision.”

Tom Doran

Tom C. Doran

Field Editor