AJ Blair drives his tractor past two grain bins

AJ Blair unloads grain at his family farm in Dayton recently. Blair has worked to change the way he managers his row crops and is seeing the benefit to his bottom line. He will be a featured speaker in an upcoming Innovation To Go! webinar. (Photo: Joseph L. Murphy/Iowa Soybean Association)

Farmers dive into research results, opportunities in March webinars

February 25, 2021

The Iowa Soybean Association’s (ISA) Research Center for Farming Innovation (RCFI) will offer insight and information from staff and, most importantly, participating farmers during two webinars next month. 

AJ Blair, who farms with his wife, Kellie, near Dayton, will share results from his work with a 2021 RCFI trial. 

(Spoiler alert: it’s good news. Like "increased yield result" good news.) 

“I wanted to work with nitrogen application adjustments on no-till corn trials,” explained Blair. “I worked with Scott Nelson with ISA on a trial to see what benefits there are with broadcasting AMS on top of no-till corn at planting.” 

Blair wanted to reduce the number of passes in the fields and learn the impact on the crop.  

“When you consider any management change, you must look at all of the variables, from inputs to time to costs,” said Blair. 

Working with Nelson, Blair set up strip trials. It was easy to see a difference. 

“But visuals don’t always equal success,” said Blair. “We wanted that yield data.” 

The yield data reported improvement of 7-10 bushels per acre in the areas with earlier-broadcast fertilizer. This season, Blair plans to lay out more trials. 

“Verification is key when you test these things out,” said Blair. “I can map things out and do some testing on my own, but I value the analyzation of the data and the extra scouting from ISA. That third-part verification of what I am looking at is valuable.” 

Nelson, an RCFI senior field services manager, agreed.

“Considering cropping system changes is a complex issue. Farmers are very independent, and they want to do things themselves. We respect that and point out that a team approach to improving profitability and stewardship gets results faster,” said Nelson. “We have access to a vast amount of technical expertise with some enablement. We’ll conduct on-farm research that provides the most scientifically accurate data possible.” 

Blair will discuss his experience and results at the Mar. 11 webinar. 

Hosted by ISA’s Research Center for Farming Innovation (RCFI), the Innovation To Go webinars will be held March 9 and 11, from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Guests can register at iasoybeans.com and there is no cost to participate.

Webinar 1: March 9, 8 a.m - 9 a.m.

Focuses on introducing the center to new and interested farmers and explaining how to get involved with ISA research opportunities. Topics will include regional research priorities, current results, and steps to get connected.

Webinar 2: March 11, 8 a.m - 9 a.m.

Geared toward current farmer participants, providing key takeaways from recent work studying enhanced nutrient and cover crop management and how a cropping systems approach leads to increased productivity and profitability.

Register Now