What is in this article?:
- Planting practices: a major impact on corn performance
- More uniform stands, vigorous early growth
- Rotation increases yield potential, reduces costs
- Excessive planter speed can affect spacing
With corn planting for the 2011 season just around the corner, what growers do at this critical time can have a major impact on the crop’s performance, says Erick Larson. “While early planting is often a significant factor in success with corn, growers who rush the process and don’t follow sound practices can end up costing themselves yield,” he said at the annual Delta Ag Expo at Cleveland, Miss.
Excessive planter speed can affect spacing
“I believe many growers have room for improvement with plant spacing,” he says. “Corn is much more responsive to spacing than our other row crops.”
For dryland corn, he suggests 24,000 to 28,000 plants per acre, and for irrigated corn up to 34,000 plants per acre.
A major factor in stand variation, and thus crop performance, is often due to how the seed is planted, Larson says.
“I believe the most prevalent factor in non-uniform seed distribution is excessive planter speed. I like to keep planter speed well below 5 mph, and many top producers will not exceed 4 mph.”
Going faster than 5 mph can result in poorer seed spacing, less uniform depth, and more double seed drops, he notes.
“Most producers do a good job with seeding depth, but many times fail to properly calibrate their planters for seed size. I saw several instances last year of growers changing from one hybrid to another, but failing to recalibrate planters for the difference in seed size.”