Mid-August to mid-September should be officially declared "field day month." After all, there is a month or day for everything else imaginable!
Even though crops aren't up to par in some places, Dave Nanda, consultant for Seed Consultants, Inc., says you can learn a lot from attending field days. Pay attention to both what you see and what you hear.
Anna Morrow, Purdue University Extension ag educator in Franklin County, says her county will host such a field day on Friday evening, Aug. 21, It will be held on Dan Chestnut's farm near Bath.
Chestnut has worked with Bob Nielsen, Purdue Extension corn specialist, for two years on field-scale research on his farm. Those results, plus a look at the current field trial, will be available for those who attend the field day.
The trials on Chestnut's farm have looked at evaluating two different hybrids under typical field practices, Morrow says. Each hybrid was evaluated at seeding rates from 27,000 to 42,000 seeds per acre. Data collected from his trial last year and again this year is combined with farmer cooperators from around the state so that Nielsen can draw conclusions and make recommendations to Indiana growers, she notes.
Several of the trials involve comparing nitrogen rates. Nielsen and Jim Camberato, also a Purdue Extension specialist, have used the data to develop nitrogen recommendations for various parts of the state. They've discovered that recommendations are lowest in west-central Indiana, where yields are highest, and highest in east-central Indiana, where yields aren't as high.
These trials can typically be planted and harvested with standard farmer equipment, thanks to GPS and technology. Nielsen has determined it makes for better statistical data than small-plot trials.
The field day in Franklin County begins at 5:30 p.m. EDT at the Chestnut farm, 1224 Oxford Pike, Bath. Light refreshments will be available. For information call 765-647-3511 or email: [email protected].