Corn yield king
By Tom Collins
SIMCOE The key for Ontarios corn king is in having the right help.
Randy Van Den Heede, of Judge Family Farms, credits Kevin Vanetten his seed rep who is also an agronomist for the farms success in the DuPont Pioneer Corn Yield Challenge. Van Den Heede grew 334 bushels per acre on 25 acres on his Simcoe area-farm, a new contest record. Hes won the DuPont Pioneer Corn Yield Challenge four years in a row.
Vanetten scouts the field for Van Den Heede and does soil and tissue analysis. Vanetten knows what acreage is used for the next challenge, so soil tests start a year in advance. The tissue analysis will make sure Van Den Heede is not over- or under-fertilizing as the corn grows.
Daily moisture tests are also important. Van Den Heede has a soil moisture meter and checks the lightest parts of the field to see if the corn needs to be irrigated.
“Vanetten really stresses that corn cannot have a bad day,” he said. “And so were really attentive. Theres a certain procedure we go through all the time to make sure we dont stress that plant.”
Being in Norfolk County, Van Den Heedes farm is on tobacco soil, light and sandy soil with little topsoil. He uses a three-year rotation with corn, soybeans and rye.
“When you do these tests were doing, it sounds really good but our inputs are a lot higher,” he said. “If you look at the total picture, were just out to see what an acre will actually push. But if you look at the bottom line, Id have to say some of those guys who are only attaining 200 bu/ac are just as far ahead at the end of the year as I am attaining those yields because of my extra inputs.”