Latham’s On-Farm Research Program Studies More Than Yield
Brand X has yield. Brand Y has more yield. Brand Z yields the most.
Various television and radio advertisements tout the virtues of any given corn hybrid brand. Quite honestly, farmers need more than yield. That’s why, at Latham Hi-Tech Seeds, we select products for yield plus other attributes that will help leverage and form additional efficiencies. This ultimately provides you with more value.
One reason I joined Latham Hi-Tech Seeds is because I respected the Latham’s commitment to their Seed-to-Soil® program. That program has continued to grow and evolve. Today we’re helping our customers select products Field-X-Field®, and our DataForward™ precision agriculture allows for variable rate seeding and fertilizer application. Users can drop pins where they’re seeing weed or disease pressure. They can note insect pressure. All of this information – collected and organized for years – helps make better management decisions.
That’s why Latham Seeds’ on-farm research program includes projects that can be applied to your own. Here is a brief overview of projects underway on our research farm:
- Soils: There is a special project we have been researching that is simply fascinating. I’m blown away by the science of our soils. Connecting this information can lead to risk reduction, more yield and better corn silage quality.
- Corn Silage: We continue to test hybrids to find amazing yields, as well as better digestibility in the fiber and starch. Remember, about 50% of the dry matter is grain and 50% is stover. For every one point of better Neutral Detergent Fiber Digestibility (NDFD), you can roughly figure on one-half pounds MORE milk per head per day. Additionally, softer starch equals better utilization in the animal and less starch in manure. The indexes for each Latham® silage hybrid is in our product guide corn silage section.
- Corn Silage Row Spacing: This is so exciting! I have many years of data showing positive results. By changing plant spacing, we add plants per acre and more tonnage. We vastly improve forage quality just by changing the spacing.
- Grain Quality: Increasing grain quality is a passion of mine. We can test for so many things that add depth to our knowledge. Most importantly, our research projects add feed value. When selecting hybrids for Latham’s lineup, we test for prolamin zein, which is a fancy word for starch digestions. We want low levels of this protein in the kernel because it correlates with better digestibility properties and better feed utilization. We also get fatty acids and amino acid indexes. Some hybrids in our research program have shown 20%MORE of specific amino acids. This is awesome and exciting because specific amino acids help create healthier animals and ultimately healthier meat, milk, and eggs.
There are many more things that we are working on, but I wanted to highlight a few projects to help provide optimism for the future. Our goals are to reduce risk on the acre, as well as to improve efficiency and quality grain.
We have learned so much from the fulfilled dreams of past generations, and we have gained momentum by fulfilling our own dreams and visions. I remain optimistic about the future of agriculture. Know that you have a strong advocate, who is continually fighting for more solutions for the future. We’re here to help you to build upon the past and forge a legacy. We – you, me and the entire Latham Team – are made for this!