As farmers consider the impact of the most yield limiting factors, it isn't always about inputs and cutting costs. The most important management decision is hybrid selection. The choice of hybrid increasingly dictates management decisions farmers make during a growing season. After the hybrid is selected the main management objective is to reduce stress on corn plants during the growing season.
In many ways we are "back to the future." Corn prices are not as bad as the 1990s and early 2000s, but they are projected to decrease nearly 50% from recent prices. Frugal innovation may be required. When corn prices are low farmers must: 1) know their cost of production for corn, 2) concentrate on the basics, 3) realize that timing of operations is everything, and 4) question every input in their production practices. An increased reliance on scouting for in-season decisions and corrections will increase efficiencies during years of low corn prices.
To read the full article, see http://corn.agronomy.wisc.edu/AA/A122.aspx.