Diversify & Limit Risk

nickB_FR13No two crop years are exactly alike, so why base next year’s potential off last year’s results? In 2010, we received excessive rainfall. In 2011, we experienced three weeks of 100-plus degree heat. Last season we experienced the most severe drought since 1956.  This year we experienced excessively wet spring conditions, followed by extreme heat and now a lack of moisture.

Making seed selections based only on this year’s yield results could risk performance next year due to the drastic changes in growing conditions from year to year. Because the weather is unpredictable, it’s important to minimize risk by planting a portfolio of products.

Treat your seed product portfolio much like a financial portfolio. Minimize risk by (1) planting seed products with different traits and genetics; (2) varying maturity; plus (3) balancing offensive and defensive characteristics.

Products that are typically thought of as more defensive could actually be the highest yielders depending on: weed pressure, insect pressure, heat stress, emergence issues, and disease pressure. It’s all about balance.

No matter how good a particular football team is, it can’t win on the gridiron by having a strong offense or a strong defense. It takes both! And the same is true whether you’re planting in a corn field or a soybean field. Remember to plant a minimum or three different seed numbers, with a mixture of offensive and defensive traits.