The Landis family has been in Schoolcraft since the early 70s. In that half century, the farm has blossomed into a full-family business—growing corn, soybeans and producing seed corn for DEKALB.
Marshall Landis of Landis Farms earned a top placement in the 2020 National Corn Growers Association Yield Contest with a yield of 289 bpa. The 2020 growing season didn’t come without challenges.
“It started off good as far as I’m concerned, but when that heat came and it stopped raining, you can’t replace what Mother Nature puts out there for us,” he said. “We can still raise a consistent crop. When it got warm, you’re looking at the crop thinking, ‘Wow it still looks good—we’re going to have a really good year.’ That translated all the way through until harvest. We had really good plant health [thinking we would have] pretty good yields and this was as good or better than last year, but we didn’t make better. We were real close.”
95 percent of their ground is irrigated, which certainly did help the crop achieve the yield it did. However, Landis says crop management goes well beyond water.
“Everybody’s doing the variable rate now and we’re playing with more of that too,” said Landis. “We’re learning—our yields are increasing, so I think we’re doing the right thing. Making sure you put out every nutrient you think the plant needs.”
Landis is no stranger to placing in the NCGA yield contest. This year, he achieved it with a Dekalb variety, DKC61-40RIB. He supplemented his seed selection with other knowledge he’s accumulated over the years.
“You’ve got to know your ground—know how certain varieties interact in our ground versus somebody else’s ground and do that to pick your varieties,” he said. “It’s not easy as fast as all the varieties are changing.”
The farm utilizes a variety of technologies, but Landis isn’t afraid of branching out to something new.
“Get to not be afraid to use technology if it’s available,” said Landis. “Some of the older farmers don’t like technology because they don’t understand, but technology has been good on our farm. We want to be better and try new things.”