Advanced Agrilytics

Decisions, Decisions: Growers Face Many as Planting Rolls On 

spring planting

Pull the planter out of the shed, fill the planter boxes and start putting seed in the ground. That’s all there is to it, right? No, and especially not this year with so many variables at play, says Aaron Gault, lead agronomist for Advanced Agrilytics. 

Not only has a wet, cool spring presented challenging field conditions, but also input availability, cost, and wild swings in commodity prices have given growers a lot more to think about. 

“Even before we dive into the prescriptive side of managing the crop it’s going to be about the planter and planter maintenance that we need to focus on,” Gault says. “A key part of that is making sure we have even emergence. And when you think of everything that affects that emerging seedling it goes back to how it is set into the trench. Are all the seeds planted at a consistent depth and are they all planted into moisture?” 

A Different Approach to Seed Population, Hybrid Placement

Mature Corn

You sit down at your desk and reflect on the last crop season. Then you decide which hybrids worked for each field and whether to try something new. Through discussion with an agronomist, you choose which hybrid to plant, and then you decide on variable rate.

This is how many farmers and agronomists work through corn hybrid selection, says Seth Logan, Advanced Agrilytics precision agronomist in southern Illinois. But at Advanced Agrilytics, hybrid decisions are made based on a unique approach.

No Perfect Corn Planting Date

spring planting

It’s April 1. You have a recommended corn planting date of April 15 circled on the calendar. And if you’re not putting seeds in the ground on that day, then you feel like you’re already behind on the year’s crop. Don’t pretend you’re not guilty of this scenario — you’re a farmer; it’s just a natural instinct. And the planting date guideline is what you’ve heard from agronomists before. But you can relax, because the date on the calendar isn’t everything, says Erika Parker, Advanced Agrilytics precision agronomist in northern Illinois. You also need to consider soil conditions before planting corn and make those a priority.

The Skinny on 20-Inch Rows


Aaron Gault, Advanced Agrilytics lead agronomist, discusses with DTN how plant-to-plant spacing in 20-inch rows makes a difference.