Corn planting tips for high yields is a timely topic each Spring. Erick Larson, Mississippi State University Extension Specialist, offers some very straightforward sound advice to maximize your corn yields. Meanwhile, Successful Farming staff writers convey Bob Nielson’s, from Purdue University, humorous take on his best tips for corn planting. These corn planting tips will generate high yields in the fall and big smiles today.
Erick Larson begins his piece by recognizing that
Southern corn producers often face challenges during planting that can drastically affect the stand achieved and ultimately the productivity of the crop.
Early planting is a well-known component of successful corn production, since environmental stress normally increases during the summer, reducing yield potential of late-plantings. Additionally, yield champion producers to industry experts also agree that achieving a uniform stand is critically important to high corn yields.
Our rainy environment and other factors often restrict our window of opportunity for spring planting and can significantly hinder the quality of corn stands we achieve. Therefore, we will likely have difficult decisions to make regarding when to safely proceed with planting.
There are several actions or management options we can use to improve our chances of achieving successful corn stands.
Measure soil temperature before you start planting.
Avoid planting fields while soils are marginally wet.
Plant well-drained soils first.
Don’t knock down your beds any further than necessary.
Planting depth may influence seedling development. Corn seed should be planted at least 1 ½ inches deep to enable proper root development, and 1 ½ to 2 inches is normal
Moderating planter ground speed will enhance stand uniformity and corn yields.
To read more details under each tip and to better understand Larson’s analysis of this graphic, visit mississippi-crops.com
Bob Nielson from Purdue University takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to his corn planting advice. In this Successful Farming article, Nielson offers a recipe for a corn stand you’d only want on somebody else’s field.
This recipe is provided tongue in cheek as a reminder that stand establishment is one of the most important phases of the entire corn growing season. Success or failure during stand establishment impacts not only final plant population, but also ear size determination once the crop moves into the rapid growth phase.
Here’s a recipe for about everything wrong that can be done to a cornfield.
- One (1) field, level and poorly drained.
- Any winter annual weeds or cover crops burned down at the last possible moment.
- One (1) or more hybrids of your choice, but preferably ones with poor seed quality and low vigor.
- Zero starter fertilizer. However, an ample amount of starter fertilizer placed right next to the seed will add a little zing to the recipe.
- A dash of seed rot or seedling blight organisms.
- A pinch of wireworms or seedcorn maggots.
- Plenty of spring tillage to maximize soil compaction, though one pass with a disk will suffice if the soil is “on the wet side” when worked.
- Flavor with acetanilide or growth regulator herbicides as desired.
- Minimum of 1 inch of rain per week after planting to maintain saturated soil conditions.
- One or more severe frost events to provide a nice, crisp appearance to the plants.
Mix well and plant as early as possible no matter how cold or wet the soils.
Maintain average daily soil temperatures at 50°F. or less for three weeks or more after planting.
Plant “on the wet side” to ensure good sidewall compaction.
Plant either excessively deep or excessively shallow.
Plant as fast as you possibly can to ensure uneven seed drop.
For best results, follow corn with corn, especially with minimal fall tillage.
Top off with a thick soil crust and serve cold.
The optimal seeding rate for corn is very important to maximize yield and financial return.
The best date to plant your corn is dependent on a number of factors. Be sure to pick the best corn planting date for your fields.
Additional production practice tips to maximize corn field profit and yield.
Image Courtesy MSU Extension