What is in this article?:
- In 2013, south Georgia farmer Tyler Lindsey was the statewide irrigated winner for the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension High Yield Corn Production Efficiency Contest.
- Lindsey says a key to his efficient production was applying poultry litter in his fertilization program.
SOUTH GEORGIA FARMER Tyler Lindsey was Georgia’s statewide corn efficiency contest winner for irrigated production in 2013 with an average yield of 301.8 bushels per acre produced at a cost of $2.87 per bushel.
Late planting forces decisions
While Lindsey prefers to start planting corn by the middle of March, it wasn’t possible this year due to excessive rainfall. He plants his fall corn crop at around mid-July, behind produce, using the same varieties as in his spring crop. He planted some last year in August and still averaged more than 100 bushels per acre with Dekalb 64-69.
“We don’t have nearly as much invested in the fall corn crop, about $300 per acre versus $700 to $800 in the spring. We’ve got a lot of fertilizer left over from the produce crop, so we try to maximize the use of it with a second corn crop. Corn is also a good rotational crop.”
Lindsey says he was about a month behind normal planting corn this year, but he plans to make up for it this fall.
“It’ll open the door for more corn acres in the fall, probably double the number of acres we usually plant. We shoot for 150 bushels per acre from our fall crop. Some of our spring crop was planted in March and some in early April, but it all seems to be catching up now,” said Lindsey in mid-May.”
He plants all DeKalb corn varieties and likes its growth habit.
“It makes a shorter stalk which has excellent standability and seems to have the best grades. We didn’t dry any down last year, and everything we harvested was at 14 ½ to 15 ½ moisture. It just all fell into place last year.”
His entire corn crop is irrigated by center pivots drawing from wells. The risks involved in dryland production are just too great, says Lindsey.
“Each of the farms we work has a well on it. I’d prefer to water corn and peanuts at night, especially when I’m setting a crop. From about waist-high to tasseling, we make sure the corn gets about 3 inches of water each week. Rain drowned out some of our cotton last year, but we were finished with corn by that time.”
Overall, Lindsey’s corn yields averaged from 275 to 325 bushels per acre in 2013.
He stored about 50,000 bushels of corn last year for several months, but it didn’t help much with the price he received.
“If we put some in the bins this year, it might help us get a better basis and maybe a break on freight costs. The only advantage to storing last year was in not having to wait on trucks – we just had two trucks running from the field to the bins.”
Lindsey says the only major change he has made in his corn crop this year is going from single to twin rows.
“We’re still planting 36,000 to 38,000 seeds per acre. In the spring, we’re planting corn strip-till, but behind produce, we have to harrow the land anyway. For the fall crop this year I’ll pull up the plastic from the produce, harrow the ground to get it level, and then strip-till. If the ground is wet, we might put it on a bed, but I’d just as soon strip-till as much as I can.”
He normally harvests his second corn crop around the end of November.