We have seen it with our own eyes… it’s corn stalks with multiple ears of corn... on one stalk! This year Ben Elliott, Soil Scientist (Insight Bio Ag & IntelliFarms) and Mawson Farms (Archie, MO) have been able to achieve the unthinkable, four ears of corn on one stalk. Can you image producing 4x as much corn on the same amount of acres?
I know you're asking how they did it. They did it with science and agronomy. Ben is a world class agronomist who is always working to get the most out of the soil and to leave it replenished with the nutrients it needs for the next crop. Mawson Farms is a family owned farm dedicated to continuous improvement of quality and growing practices.
Here’s how they did it.
Step 1: Assess the Situation
Ben began by assessing the characteristics of the soils and designed a program that was biologically supportive of the soil conditions. He wanted to ensure the soil would get the nutrients it needed, when it needed it.
Step 2: Field Monitoring Setup
Once the soil structure and type was determined, Ben used that information to select the optimal placement of the FieldDataManager to capture field events and soil conditions that would shape the outcome of this crop.
Field monitoring is crucial in the overall understanding of how soils respond to weather and operational events. With a FieldDataManager a grower is able to know when and if they need to address a problem that could harm the production of the plants or if the plants are growing as they should.
Step 3: Create a Custom Plan
Ben created a customized fertility program based on his research and field data to take full advantage of weather conditions combined with the growth stages of the corn. He did this with the purpose of making the nutrient and water needs of the plants as efficient as possible throughout the growth cycle.
Ben also took into consideration the needs of the variety of corn that was planted. He researched what needs would develop as the plant grew within the specific conditions that were present, along with the genetic needs of the particular variety. Ben was able to maximize growing potential by providing the soil and the plant all the nutrients needed at the proper time.
One important factor to this program, it was written for applying to both GMO and NON-GMO crops making it easier for the Mawsons to apply. The plan didn’t have to change, which made it easier for Mawson Farms to apply without having to stop and clean out their sprayer and reload. It’s important when creating plans to take the farm into consideration, make it easy for them to implement and make it work for their operation.
Step 4: Make Adjustments
As the plan was put into action, they found this particular farm was of moderate production capacity. They realized early on there was a lack of supportive nutrients due to early applications of anhydrous.
They set up a program designed to keep the plants' vascular systems healthy from early development to mid-vegetative growth by supporting hormonal production in the plants. They also used tissue sampling to moderate the application components and timing. Once mid-vegetative growth was reached, they began applying a program that was loaded with the nutrients necessary for reproductive growth and supported ear fill.
Again, this program was weighted with the tissue results and soil samples along with the current and forecasted weather conditions, soil conditions and genetic requirements of each variety planted. Mawson Farms had the ability to apply the program as late as V10 and then flew on the needed nutrients once the crop was too tall to accommodate the sprayer.
This customized plan produced corn stalks with up to four ears of corn, all by feeding the soil and the plants the right nutrients at the right time and making adjustments along the way based on weather and operational events. This just goes to show the science of agronomy and chemistry are very important components of farming. It starts with understanding what the plants need, when they need it and how the weather affects the entire growth cycle along the way.
Interested in your own your custom plan focused strictly on your soils, crops and operations? Give us a call at 855-206-5612 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out our website for more information about our biologicals and agronomy programs: https://intellifarms.com/solutions/biologicals.