With the advent of yield monitors in the field, many farmers are doing their own side-by-side comparisons of plant populations, fertilizer treatments, planting dates or many other agronomic factors. These comparisons are useful to the farmer, but farmers have been unable to look at what another farmer in the area is doing.
For that reason, Kansas State University extension agronomists have developed a Farmer Crop Database, with a first-year goal to evaluate corn populations across Kansas. If a farmer is planting a comparison for himself or for a seed company, he or she can also enter the information into the database, said Brian Olson, agronomist with K-State Research and Extension. This will allow for everyone to view the results of population comparisons that happened in his or her area.
“If the pilot is successful this first year, we hopefully will be able to expand the database to all crops with some outside support and make the database more interactive,” Olson said. “However this first year, the goal is to simplify the focus and look at corn populations.”
Interested producers can register and log into the website www.agronomy.ksu.edu/cropsdatabase.
“We ask that if a grower is interested, he or she use at least four of the following corn populations: 10,000, 12,000, 14,000, 16,000, 18,000, 20,000, 22,000, 24,000, 26,000, 28,000, 30,000, 32,000, 34,000, 36,000 or 38,000 seeds per acre. All planting information for the sites will need to be entered into the system by the end of June. Yield information will be entered in by the end of December. At the end of the year, everyone will be able to view all of the planting and yield information from each site.
“If this project is successful, it will help Kansas crop producers gain more information to make more informed decisions,” Olson said.