Mark Morris operates Morris Farms in Pembroke, Kentucky, working with Security Seed Agronomist Ben Moser from the Hopkinsville Store. Over the last two years they’ve begun applying the SekureCrop Wheat Management Program to some of the acres on Morris Farms.
Working with his Security Seed Agronomist as well as SekureCropSolutions, Mark put down a test plot using the SekureCrop Wheat Management program, which has yielded a substantial benefit over acres not manged by the SekureCrop Program, which piqued his interest.
“Ben’s been pretty honest with me over the last several years and he brought the program to me and I thought starting off on a small scale would be something I’d be interested in. If it didn’t work, I wouldn’t be out a whole lot, but if it did work, it’s something I would be interested in,” said Morris.
Morris Farms faced the same challenging wheat year that everyone in western Tennessee and Kentucky faced. But his SekureCrop plots stood up to the challenging conditions and gave a return on his investment.
“I’m always trying to look forward, you’re dealing with what you’re dealing with today but you need to think about what you’re dealing with a month from now, a year from now,” Mark continued.
The multi-step process incorporated several agronomic steps including tissue testing to reveal limiting factors, including Magnesium and Boron on this year’s wheat crop. Some of the results were surprising.
“Some things seemed to be a problem but weren’t, and because of what we saw on the tissue test we did a foliar application of Boron with my second shot of nitrogen.
“It’s a systems approach and that’s the way you have to look at it. Sometimes I know I want to break out specific parts and figure out which part of the system works and what doesn’t, but you have to look at it as one system. I’m always trying to look forward,” Mark explained.
Morris Farms has tested the SekureCrop Wheat Management Program and on the day of this interview, Mark is visiting the Hopkinsville Research Farm, and seeing the root dig and replicated test plots Security Seed is demonstrating.
“It’s quite an accomplishment, there’s a lot of work that goes into the [research farm]. We’ve put in some test plots but they do this a hundred times over that. It’s quite a feat. The more data you have, the better decisions you can make. With several replications you might be able to find a pattern and find something that makes money,” said Mark.
The 8 bu./acre advantage that Mark saw on his SekureCrop plot is lower than expected under better weather conditions, but still a substantial boost over the average particularly under these extreme conditions.
“It’s noticeable, and probably pretty significant,” Mark went on, “wheat likes cool conditions during grain fill and this year was dry and extremely hot. Which seemed to shut the plant down a little early which probably, in turn, resulted in smaller seed size which had to do with limiting yields. My SekureCrop acres fared better than those plots that weren’t in the program.”
Mark plans to put some more acres into the SekureCrop Wheat Management Progam next year.