Managing corn for greater yield

decrease font size  Resize text   increase font size       Printer-friendly version of this article Printer-friendly version of this article

Over the last 20 years, U.S. corn yield has increased by an average of 1.7 bu/acre per year. These gains have resulted from breeding for increased yield potential, the introduction of transgenic traits to help protect yield, and agronomic management that has allowed yield potential to be more fully realized.

Basic management practices employed by the 2013 NCGA National Corn Yield Contest winners can contribute to higher yields for all corn growers,” says Mark Jeschke, DuPont Pioneer agronomy research manager.
Hybrid selection
Selecting the right hybrid is likely the most important management decision made by contest winners. To achieve highest possible yields, growers should select a hybrid with:

  • Top-end yield potential
  • Full maturity for the field
  • Good emergence under stress
  • Above-average drought tolerance
  • Resistance to local diseases
  • Traits that provide resistance to major insects, such as corn borer, corn rootworm, black cutworm and western bean cutworm
  • Good standability to minimize harvest losses

Plant population

Improvement of corn-hybrid genetics for superior stress tolerance has contributed to increased yields by allowing hybrids to be planted at higher plant populations. Almost 75 percent of national corn-yield contest entries were between 32,000 and 39,000 plants/acre.
Planting date
Winning contest plots are usually planted as early as is practical for their geography. Early planting lengthens the growing season and, more importantly, enables earlier pollination. When silking, pollination and early ear fill are accomplished in June or early July, heat and moisture stress effects can be reduced.
Crop rotation
Rotating crops is highly recommended to keep yields consistently high. Rotation can break damaging insect and disease cycles that lower crop yields. Including crops like soybeans or alfalfa in the rotation can reduce the amount of nitrogen (N) required in the following corn crop.
Soil fertility
Achieving the highest corn yields requires an excellent soil-fertility program, beginning with a timely application of N and soil testing to determine existing levels of phosphorous (P), potassium (K) and soil pH.
Weed management
Regardless of the herbicide program used, excellent weed control (beginning before weeds compete with corn for water, light and nutrients) is essential for reaching the highest corn yields. Studies show that the critical period for preventing yield-reducing weed interference in corn is from the V2 to V3 growth stage until V12.

Buyers Guide

Doyle Equipment Manufacturing Co.
Doyle Equipment Manufacturing prides themselves as being “The King of the Rotary’s” with their Direct Drive Rotary Blend Systems. With numerous setup possibilities and sizes, ranging from a  more...
A.J. Sackett Sons & Company
Sackett Blend Towers feature the H.I.M, High Intensity Mixer, the next generation of blending and coating technology which supports Precision Fertilizer Blending®. Its unique design allows  more...
R&R Manufacturing Inc.
The R&R Minuteman Blend System is the original proven performer. Fast, precise blending with a compact foot print. Significantly lower horsepower requirement. Low inload height with large  more...
Junge Control Inc.
Junge Control Inc. creates state-of-the-art product blending and measuring solutions that allow you to totally maximize operating efficiency with amazing accuracy and repeatability, superior  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The flagship blending system for the Layco product line is the fully automated Layco DW System™. The advanced technology of the Layco DW (Declining Weight) system results in a blending  more...
Yargus Manufacturing
The LAYCOTE™ Automated Coating System provides a new level of coating accuracy for a stand-alone coating system or for coating (impregnating) in an automated blending system. The unique  more...
John Deere
The DN345 Drawn Dry Spreader can carry more than 12 tons of fertilizer and 17.5 tons of lime. Designed to operate at field speeds up to 20 MPH with full loads and the G4 spreader uniformly  more...
Force Unlimited
The Pro-Force is a multi-purpose spreader with a wider apron and steeper sides. Our Pro-Force has the most aggressive 30” spinner on the market, and is capable of spreading higher rates of  more...
BBI Spreaders
MagnaSpread 2 & MagnaSpread 3 — With BBI’s patented multi-bin technology, these spreaders operate multiple hoppers guided by independent, variable-rate technology. These models are built on  more...

Comments (0) Leave a comment 

e-Mail (required)


characters left


Meridian’s conveyors deliver seed with unmatched versatility. Meridian’s transport conveyors are manufactured with heavy-duty, fully enclosed construction. Meridian’s cross cleated ... Read More

View all Products in this segment

View All Buyers Guides

Feedback Form
Feedback Form