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Articles of - Terning Seeds

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THE IMPORTANCE OF SCOUTING FIELDS

One of the most important farm management practices is scouting fields. While some farmers may hire a commercial scouting service, farmers should perform at least some scouting on their own so they can see for themselves how their crops are performing. Read more to know about the importance of scouting fields.

 
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By:   TERNING SEEDS
CAREFULLY-TIMED PURCHASES COULD SAVE ON FERTILIZER COSTS

For the first time in years, fertilizer costs for corn are on the rise. Economists say that fertilizer costs for corn could increase $15 per acre next year while fertilizer costs for soybeans could increase by about $5 per acre. Read more to know about carefully-timed purchases could save on fertilizer costs

 
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By:   TERNING SEEDS
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF FALL FERTILIZER APPLICATIONS

There are decided advantages to fall fertilizer application. It reduces the workload from the spring to fall and seed operations can be dramatically improved. It also helps to reduce fertilizer handling when seedingRead more to know about advantages and disadvantages of fall fertilizer applications.

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By:   TERNING SEEDS
WHY NO-TILL CAN MAKE GOOD SENSE

Leaving corn residue on fields provides a protective blanket for soil. This reduces erosion and water runoff by increasing water infiltration. But as good as this sounds, many farmers understandably ask, “How much residue is too much?” Read more to know why no-till can make good sense.

 
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By:   TERNING SEEDS
The Benefits of Planting Winter Rye

Fall-seeded winter grains help to eliminate many of the issues associated with spring planting. One of these issues is trying to plant in wet soil. Winter grains also provide cover to avoid soil erosion in the winter and spring. Read here know the benefits of planting winter rye.

 
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By:   TERNING SEEDS
CHOOSING THE RIGHT ALFALFA VARIETY TAKES TIME AND RESEARCH

The choice of alfalfa seeds can be difficult. While some will say the cheapest variety is the way to go, agricultural and seed experts will tell you that this is rarely the case. In fact, variety performance almost always trumps price. Click here to read more details on this topic.

 
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By:   TERNING SEEDS
Look Beyond Seed Corn To Cut Production Costs

Many farmers look to save money on the cost of seed corn. The fact is, however, that cutting seed corn costs won’t do much for profits when you look at overall yield.  Click here to read more on this topic.

 
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By:   TERNING SEEDS
Why Some Farmers Aren’t Sold on Cover Crops

Cover crops seem to be all the rage these days. However, not everyone is sold on the idea of cover crops, including many farmers.  Read more to know why some farmers aren''t sold on cover crops

 
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By:   TERNING SEEDS
WHY FARMERS DON’T SAVE SEEDS

Many individuals mistakenly believe that it makes good sense for farmers to save seeds from the current year to plant the next year. After all, purchasing seeds is a significant expense, right? The fact is, the practice of saving seeds was for the most part abandoned in the 1930s with the advent of hybrids. Read more to know why farmers don''t have seeds

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By:   TERNING SEEDS
Corn Detasseling 101

If you grew up on a farm, chances are you know all about seed corn detasseling. Many people are unaware of how the process works, however, and still others don’t even know what it is in the first place. Read More to know about Corn Detasseling 101 from Terning.

 
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By:   TERNING SEEDS
Wet Weather Can Throw a Wrench in Weed Control

Extreme weather conditions are a fact-of-life for farmers. Such conditions bring to mind the old farming adage, “A dry year will scare you to death but a wet year will kill you.”While dry weather is likely to reduce yields, it is unlikely to impact quality. Wet weather is a different story and can lead to mold and plant disease. Read More to know about weed control from Terning.

 
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By:   TERNING SEEDS
Can Insects and Weeds be Managed with Conventional Corn Hybrids?

Some farmers today are finding that they are able to manage insects and weeds with conventional corn hybrids. But that doesn’t mean the practice will work for everyone.

There are several reasons why some farmers are choosing to go this route. These include weed resistance and declining populations of pests. To make it worth their while, however, farmers will need to employ rigorous scouting and pest management methods.

Agronomists will tell you that it is not just genetics that have the greatest impact on yields but rather the management of those genetics. And when corn followed soybeans, trait packages were basically the same.

Of course, not all farmers are ready to make the jump to conventional corn hybrids and demand for Bt corn continues to rise. In fact, two out of every three corn acres in the United States are planted with Bt hybrids. Why? Farmers know that Bt adoption positively impacts both yields and profits.

Finding the right conventional corn hybrid takes time. There are a lot of good choices and there are no clear-cut winners. It may take a lot of trial and error to get just the right mix of corn hybrids.

Crop rotation is an important aspect of a conventional corn hybrid-only approach, as well. In the Corn Belt, for example, rotation is an effective way to control rootworm. Even when there is a heavy infestation of rootworm, taking corn out of the field for a year, can eliminate it. This is not always the case, however. If volunteer corn in soybeans is not controlled or you farm in an area where rootworms have adapted to the rotation, the need for insecticide will remain.

If you are considering making the switch to conventional corn hybrids, you must have the necessary equipment and manpower to make the switch. Conventional corn hybrids are generally more labor-intensive, so it might make more sense to plant some Bt corn, as well. Another thing to keep in mind is that your management strategy is going to have to be more long-term. In other words, if you want to use the same practice year in and year out, conventional corn hybrids is not your best option.

Switching to conventional corn hybrids may not be for everyone but they can be a good choice for some. Do your research before you make the switch to make sure it makes sense for your operation.

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By:   TERNING SEEDS
A Brief History of Hybrid Seed Corn

Hybrid seed corn is so common today we hardly think about it. In fact, more than 95 percent of corn planted today is hybrid corn. Thanks to hybrid seed, today’s farmers are able to produce 20 percent more corn on 25 percent fewer acres than they did a century ago.

It was a geneticist from New York, G.H. Shull, who began experimenting on inheritance in the early 1900s. His experiments were the basis for hybrid corn and included observations on the reduction in vigor on inbreeding and the restoration of vigor on crossing. There were other experiments taking place at the time, as well, and the general consensus was that hybrid corn could not be achieved because of the poor vigor of inbred parents.

Open-pollinated varieties are maintained through mass selection. Windborne pollen impacts fertilization with no control of male parentage. Inbred lines are derived from a mix of inbreeding and selection. Inbreeding transfers pollen from an individual plant to silks of the same plant. When this process is repeated over several generations, the strain becomes stable.

In order to maintain only the superior hybrids, selection is practiced in every generation. Cross-breeding involves the crossing of selected parents. Single crosses are produced by two inbred lines, double crosses by crossing two different single crosses.

In 1918, the Connecticut Agriculture Experiment Station double crossed hybrids from four inbred parents. This helped to lessen the impact of poor vigor of inbred parents. Released in 1921, this male hybrid corn was the first to be produced commercially.

The early 1920s saw many inbreeding and hybridization programs. Since basic genetic theory was inadequate at the time, new procedures had to be developed. Hundreds of inbred lines were isolated and evaluated in thousands of crosses.

When corn hybrids initially became commercially available, farmers were still reluctant to adopt them. That began to change as demonstrations were held and field observations took place. By the mid-1930s, demand exceeded production and the hybrid seed industry was up and running. Since that time it has showed no signs of slowing.

While it is true that hybrids have allowed for an increase in corn production, they have done much more. Hybrids allow for efficient use of applied fertilizer. They also allow for resistance to a variety of insects and diseases, leading to higher quality corn. Finally, the uniformity in maturity and lodging resistance in hybrid corn have made large-scale mechanization possible.

 

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By:   TERNING SEEDS
A Resurgence in Cross Slot Seeding?

The phrase, everything old is new again, is quite common. And when it comes to agriculture, it often rings true. One of those cases is the concept of cross slot seeding.

Cross slot seeding uses a drill that combines low-disturbance planting with fertilizer banding or knifing closer to the seed. This is not a new concept and has been touted on and off over the years as either a groundbreaking concept in farming or a method too risky to employ. Today, thanks to research at different universities throughout the United States, the method is gaining favor.

This is a departure from a time when many in the Ag industry believed that knifing in fertilizer wasn’t worth the risk. The belief was that if fertilizer was placed too close to seed, germination and emergence would suffer and if it was placed too far away from the seed, it was no more effective than surface broadcasting.

However, the cross-slot drill is actually ingenious in its simplicity. The drill has two side blades that run alongside the coulter on opposite sides. These blades lift the soil to create a shelf on either side of the trench. Seed is placed on one shelf and on the other, fertilizer. Air-seeder technology with a press wheel patting the soil down, leaves surface residue intact. This protects the seed and conserves moisture at the same time. Research shows that as long as the fertilizer is within two inches of the seed, germination and emergence improves.

The design of the cross-slot design also maximizes uniform emergence which improves overall plant stand and health and, ultimately, yield. This seems to confirm what many Ag researchers have come to believe as of late—that emergence is more important than placement.

Using narrower row spacing for corn has other significant advantages. One is an increase in pollination. Since corn plants are self-pollinating, this leads to high yielding corn. And this is not a new concept. Years ago, corn seed often was planted in a checkboard pattern to boost pollination. This labor-intensive method of planting died out, however, when herbicides were introduced. While narrower rows may cause a drop in plant population per acre, studies show that there is little reduction in yields from non-uniform stands if the final population remains within 15 percent of its target.

The beauty of the cross-slot drill is that it can plant narrower rows at a lower price. Farmers can use their existing air drills and don’t have to purchase new equipment. What’s more, research shows that when the distance between seeds increases, the need for strict accuracy of spacing decreases.

While cross slot seeding isn’t spreading like wildfire, its popularity is beginning to heat up. And there is no doubt that farmers across the United States are beginning to take notice.

 

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By:   TERNING SEEDS
Preventing Cross Contamination During Planting and Harvest

If you are a farmer considering planting one or more specialty crops, it is important that you take particular care when planting these crops next to one another or near another farmer’s field. This will help to ensure that each specialty crop reaches its full potential.

One of the dangers of planting specialty crops near one another is that they may cross contaminate, impacting each crop’s ability to achieve its full potential. The first way to prevent cross contamination is to work with your neighbors and find out what they are planting. It’s simply a fact of modern farming—no matter what the crop—cross contamination can occur. However, maintaining the integrity of hybrids depends on lessening the likelihood of cross contamination.

Of course, it isn’t just specialty crops that need to be protected from cross contamination. Any crop, specialty or not, produces a higher yield when cross pollination is minimized. One way to do that is to plant seed corn in isolation, taking into consideration things like the direction of prevailing winds during pollination, roadways, creeks, ditches and waterways. It also is a good idea to plant of strip of a different crop around the specialty or primary crop to achieve proper setbacks. Inside the primary crop, plant a male row so that when pollination is taking place the field is flooded with the desired pollen.

Seed cornfields are planted with male and female rows in a particular pattern so that the pollen from the tassels on the male plants can be used to pollinate the silks on the female plants which creates a hybrid seed. De-tasseling silks on female plants is timed so that it occurs when those silks are ready to accept pollen.

Once pollination is finished, male rows need to be destroyed before the kernels on the ear of the corn are viable. This eliminates the threat of volunteer corn sprouting in the field the next year. Doing so will reduce the need for additional herbicide.

Cleanliness is a critical consideration when it comes to the planting and harvesting of seed corn, as well. While planting, planters should be thoroughly cleaned between fields to prevent seeds from one hybrid making its way into another field. The same goes for harvest time. Pickers should be kernel-cleaned and any kernel not on an ear destroyed.

Farmers need to work on their own and communicate with neighboring farmers so that everyone can maintain the integrity of their fields. Otherwise, the integrity of all crops will suffer.

 

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By:   TERNING SEEDS
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