How many kernel rows, or rounds, will an ear of corn have? That’s being determined right now in my cornfield. My corn has hit the critical V6 growth stage (in just 31 days, no less). Next to emergence and pollination, V6 is one of the most significant times of the plant’s life. This is when the growing point moves above the ground and signals the start of a rapid growth phase. Since the growing point is above the soil surface, plants are now susceptible to hail, wind and other threats. This is also the time when the plant starts to determine the number of kernel rows on the ear. Yes, genetics plays a big role in ear size. But so can management. Crops need energy, proper hormonal balance, adequate moisture and nutrition, and strong health to optimize genetic expression. That’s why I fortified my plants last week with a foliar feeding that included Vitol, X-Tend and a blend of macro and micronutrients.

A mid shot of author Fred Nichols standing in his corn field.

Huma was platinum sponsor for the TopSoil Summit, an event put on by Iowa-based consulting firm Continuum Ag. This year’s event was focused on CI (carbon intensity) scores, and how growers can capture a revenue stream flowing from 45z tax credits going into effect for biofuel producers. Huma products can significantly reduce CI scores from the GREET model, based on the amount of synthetic fertilizer and total energy they reduce. By replacing a typical anhydrous ammonia (180#), P2O5 (90#) and potash (160#) program with Huma Supers, corn growers can conservatively lower their CI scores by 9.5-11.5 points. For every point below the average CI score of 29.1, ethanol plants can earn about 5.4 cents in tax credits. By reducing a grower’s score by 11.5 points, a NPK Huma program would offer 62.1 cents per bushel of total value. A yield of 220 bu/A would net $136.62 per acre of 45z value. How much of that value growers receive will depend on how much of a premium the biofuel plants will pay. That’s still being determined. But this is a sizable pot from which growers will be rewarded – bringing a whole new level of value for Huma products.

Thursday marks the 80th anniversary of D-Day. May our prayers and eternal thanks go out to “The Greatest Generation” who freed the world.

Happy Birthday Huma! While our company is 51 years old – and our products are millions of years old – the Huma name turned 1 on June 1. Exactly a year ago we consolidated six brands into one, and have made incredible strides during this trip across the sun. We’re just getting started!

About the Author

Fred Nichols

Fred Nichols, Chief Marketing Officer at Huma, is a life-long farmer and ag enthusiast. He operated his family farm in Illinois, runs a research farm in Tennessee, serves on the Board of Directors at Agricenter International and has spent 35 years in global agricultural business.

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