Pioneer agronomist Gary Brinkman says 2019 was the most challenging year in the last 40 years. We planted late, had less than normal GDUs, and had above normal precipitation in September in October that delayed harvest.
Growers usually make decisions based on their last year of performance and cropping in general, but Brinkman said not to put any more weight on 2019 in making decisions for 2020.
“It becomes another data point that I add to my historical data set,” said Brinkman. “I don’t add any more weight, nor do I remove weight from it, but it just becomes another data point in making decisions.”
Some growers Brinkman has spoken with are reconsidering their hybrid mix when it comes to maturity based on this year. He cites 2009 as being the closest comparison to 2019. In 2010, growers planted early hybrids, and there were no shortage of GDUs.
“Earlier hybrids cost growers 10, 15, 20 bushels per acre compared to what they may have been growing if they hadn’t switched into such earlier product,” said Brinkman.
Brinkman suggested that growers look at a five-year data set of what hybrids are performing well, and not to deviate from that. He also says planting date trumps soil temperature.
“I would highly recommend that if you’re going to err, you err early,” he said. “Sometimes growers look too much for that ideal soil condition. With the hybrids and the fungicides, insecticides we have, good planting conditions can get the job done wonderfully.
For more information, contact your local Pioneer agronomist.