Latham's In-Field Research is in the Ground

Tanner Bohman and Gary Bennett work to put in the last of Latham Hi-Tech Seeds research acres.

Three weeks ago Iowa farmers, including researchers like yours truly, were wondering when the fields would dry and soil temperatures would rise enough to make conditions suitable for planting.

Thankfully, the weather pattern changed! As a result, the USDA’s May 15th crop report shows Iowa farmers have planted 92% of this year’s corn crop as compared to 96% this same time last year. Iowa farmers have planted 47% of this year’s bean crop as of May 15, compared to 52% in 2010, according to this same report.

Planting will be complete, for the most part, before the next weekly crop report gets issued.  And our research acres are no exception.  Four straight days of sunshine and 70-degree temperatures has allowed us to cover a lot of ground. Gary Bennett, who has served as Latham’s research technician for 25 years, has already planted Latham research plots in Minnesota, Wisconsin and South Dakota.

This week Gary’s main focus has been planting plots at our company headquarters.  He’s been assisted by our summer intern Tanner Bohman, who drove the tractor while Gary placed the seed.  Tanner is from Alexander, Iowa, and just finished his junior year at Iowa State University where he’s majoring in Ag Studies with a minor in Agronomy.  Tanner’s background and interests are a good fit for Latham’s Seed2Soil® program, so much of his time this summer will be spent working with Latham customers who are participating in this program.

As soon as the planting is done, Tanner’s focus will turn to grid sampling.  Right after planting is the perfect time to grid sample.  Soil sample data gathered now could help you adjust the timing of fertilizer applications during the growing season, plus it will leave you with one less thing to worry about while you’re in the combine next fall.

There’s still time to enroll your acres into Latham’s Seed2Soil program.  We can work with your existing grid samples, or we can gather the data needed.  You can also benefit from this program even if you’re not yet a Latham customer.  Check out our Website and also feel free to contact me for more information.