Admittedly, Keytesville, Missouri, farmer Kendall Littleton isn't big on spending more on inputs in the hope of gaining more corn bushels in the bin. Unless proven wrong.
A few years after he became friends with local Nutrien Ag Solutions Crop Consultant Chris Gunn, Littleton challenged his advice. He wanted to see if Gunn's Nutrien Ag Solutions whole-acre recommendation could beat current hybrid brands they've used since his grandfather's farming days.
"Chris pushed me to grow the best possible crop, and I gave him my worst 13 acres surrounded by my usual practices on better ground," Littleton says. "And I told him I'm usually not wrong."
Fast forward to the 2021 harvest, Gunn's whole-acre recommendations on this wet bottom piece of ground using Dyna-Gro Seed, fungicides and nutritionals beat Littleton's usual practices.
"I told Gunn if that poor plot area grows at least 60-bushel corn, then I'm doing his practice on a lot more acres next year," Littleton says. "Well, the plot produced about 125 bushels -- the best I've ever seen in that area."
The yield on Littleton's better soil was consistently 250 to 270 bushels per acre with the Nutrien Ag Solutions fungicide and nutritionals inputs. "I became a believer and told him that these inputs might not be a waste of money because it's been very profitable," he laughed.
WET WEATHER CHALLENGES
The 2021 bottom field plot faced very wet conditions, including numerous four- and five-inch rains that left water standing five times. "So, we tried to raise the best crop without breaking the bank, using a high-yield Dyna-Gro corn hybrid that responds well to fungicides," Gunn adds.
Littleton says it was a great experience to learn what these acres could produce. "I've certainly gained trust in Chris because he studies my fields and recommends the best hybrids that fit, along with inputs that I used to overlook because of the cost. Seeing the results of what Chris put together, we need to spread them across the whole farm," he says.
With crop, soil and pest management changing with the technology, Littleton finds great value in working with Gunn. "He stays on top of all that to recommend what works given the weather, high input costs and land costs," he says. "Because of that trust, I'm proud to say we shifted 75% of our corn and soybean acres to Dyna-Gro Seed and Nutrien Ag Solutions fertility and fungicide recommendations."
LOCAL RESEARCH BUILDS TRUST
While the weather isn't the only variable Littleton faces, he continues to test products with Gunn on other farms where soils vary from clay to sand.
"I want to prove on our other farms what nutritionals and fungicides can do to get the most out of every acre," Littleton says. "We've raised corn yields by 50 to 60 bushels an acre in just a short period. So, it'll be nice to see what we can do in future years."
Gunn, who worked previously for a local Missouri cooperative before Nutrien Ag Solutions, understands the value of local research to farmers. "The more local in-field trials I can convince farmers to try, the better everyone benefits from the results," he says. "Since I came to Nutrien Ag Solutions, I've been impressed with the Dyna-Gro seed brand research, along with the overall agronomic expertise across Nutrien Ag Solutions. Local proof builds trust."
As a self-proclaimed skeptic, Littleton has learned that an open mind, and some pushing from Gunn, helped him realize that his in-field research with Nutrien Ag Solutions and Dyna-Gro delivered successful results. "This program responded well for me and would probably be good on your acres, too."
-- For more information on Dyna-Gro's focus on delivering seed that meets the specific needs of your local area and your farm, visit https://dynagroseed.com/…
Dyna-Gro Seed gets you closer to the results you want -- year over year.
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