As we approach the last 60 or so days of the growing season here in the Dakotas, the time comes around to be thinking about 2017 and the crop varieties planned for the upcoming growing season. Now is a great time to be taking one more thorough pre-harvest evaluation of your current crops. Soybeans are in the prime growth cycle right now, and so is corn- filling out the pods and ears. Tour around your fields and evaluate the crops, and evaluate the varieties planted in similar fields to see if, at least to date, you are satisfied with the varieties you have planted. Also, take a good agronomic evaluation of the plant stand, look for late season pests to take care of this year, and get a good estimate of the success of management decisions like fertilizer timing or in-season applications of micronutrients or other crop inputs that may have affected the crop.

Planting issues, especially ones that are from planter-associated issues, can really be seen right now, especially in corn. Look at overall plant development, ear development and brace root development. Planter-associated issues like spacing or singulation issues, down-pressure, closing wheel issues, etc. can still be fixed this season. Contact your agronomist or one of the precision ag specialists at Wheat Growers if you are interested in looking at planter adjustment or upgrades to equipment yet this season. Also, to find out more about planters, precision planting and in-season management decisions in corn or soybeans, plan to come to the Wheat Growers Precision Summit on September 8 at 9:00 AM at our Innovation Plot located north of our Bath Fertilizer/Grebner location in Bath, SD. Precision Ag specialists from all aspects of the industry will be on hand. Contact your agronomist for more information or visit our website.

Evaluate your variety selections for both corn and soybean. Did the varieties respond as you had hoped to the wild weather conditions we experienced this year? What about new technology, like the newest corn varieties or the new dicamba-tolerant soybean lines? To find out more and see for yourself the performance of many of the newest varieties, please visit with your local Wheat Growers agronomist and plan to attend a local field plot tour at many of our agronomy locations across the Wheat Growers territory.

Agriculture is a constant cycle. Evaluating your crops now all the way up to harvest can make a real difference in being sure you are not leaving any yield on the table. Plans for next year are already kicking into high gear.