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First Set of IPF/Precision Planting Plots in the GroundFirst Set of IPF/Precision Planting Plots in the Ground

Weather delayed planting- should still be good test.

Tom Bechman 1

May 30, 2011

2 Min Read

Ah, the plans of mice and men- they sometimes go awry. Last year was the first time that Indiana Prairie Farmer and Precision Planting, Tremont, Ill., teamed up to cooperate with the Throckmorton Purdue Ag Center near Romney and the Tippecanoe County Extension Service to conduct a plant aimed at determining how to fine-tune planting operation for more accurate stands and better yields.

The weather didn't cooperate, and the plot wasn't planted until the middle of the last week of May. Once it was agreed to do the plot again, organizers decided on two dates this year. The idea was for an early planting to see if factors of downpressure, seed depth and planting speed had more effect earlier in the season. The second date would be similar to the 2010 plot, so that perhaps they could begin to see trends. The goal for planting the first plot was April 15- May 1.

Mother Nature had other ideas. Hardly anyone planted from April 15 to May 1. Lafayette caught a break on a couple of rains, and a considerable amount of planting was done in that area over the past two weeks. The first IPF/Precision plot was planted May 21.

Even though it was only a few days different than last year, conditions were different. The soil temperature at 4 degrees was about 77 degrees last year. This year, it was only about 65 degrees F at 4 inches deep. That could have an effect upon results.

A second complete test is expected to be planted around June 1. The factors in the plot were simplified. Since no interactions were found between the various factors last year, this year's plot are really a combination of three separate tests. One test is for seed depth, the other for downpressure on the planting units and the third for planting speed.

"We're hoping this will simplify things and make it easier to understand and explain," says Dave Nnada, a crops consultant who helps design the plot setup. He's also director of genetics and technology for Seed Consultants, Inc. Seed Consultants, Inc., donated insecticide-coated, rootworm and corn borer resistant seed for the trials.

Each factor has four parameters this year instead of three. "We didn't see enough difference at 6 miles per hour," Nanda says. "In a trial, you want to go far enough both directions so that you know what you find in the middle is likely most practical. So we threw in 7 miles per hour, and compared it to 4, 5 and 6. The results should be interesting."

About the Author(s)

Tom Bechman 1

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farm

Tom Bechman is an important cog in the Farm Progress machinery. In addition to serving as editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer, Tom is nationally known for his coverage of Midwest agronomy, conservation, no-till farming, farm management, farm safety, high-tech farming and personal property tax relief. His byline appears monthly in many of the 18 state and regional farm magazines published by Farm Progress.

"I consider it my responsibility and opportunity as a farm magazine editor to supply useful information that will help today's farm families survive and thrive," the veteran editor says.

Tom graduated from Whiteland (Ind.) High School, earned his B.S. in animal science and agricultural education from Purdue University in 1975 and an M.S. in dairy nutrition two years later. He first joined the magazine as a field editor in 1981 after four years as a vocational agriculture teacher.

Tom enjoys interacting with farm families, university specialists and industry leaders, gathering and sifting through loads of information available in agriculture today. "Whenever I find a new idea or a new thought that could either improve someone's life or their income, I consider it a personal challenge to discover how to present it in the most useful form, " he says.

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