COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Proper planting practices are the first step to overcoming yield limitations the environment can put on a corn crop.
Peter Thomison, an Ohio State University Extension agronomist, said that impact of compaction, especially when drought occurs, can cost growers 5 percent or more of their corn yields, depending on the production situation, location, hybrid planted and soil type. Mistakes made during planting operations that can lead to uneven stands, for example, can just compound the problem.
"Mistakes made during the planting operation are usually irreversible, and can put a ceiling on the crop's yield potential before the plants have even emerged," said Thomison, who holds a partial research appointment with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.
The following are some recommended practices to help get the corn crop off to a good start:
In April, when the soil is usually moist and evaporation rate is low, seed should be planted no deeper than 1.5 inches," said Thomison. "When soils are warm and dry, corn may be seeded more deeply up to 2 inches on non-crusting soils."
On productive soils, with long term average yields of 160 bushels per acre or more, final stands of 30,000 plants per acre or more may be required to maximize yields. On soils that average about 150 bushels per acre, a final stand of 28,000 plants per acre may be needed to optimize yields. On soils that average 120 bushels per acre or less, final stands of 20,000 to 22,000 plants per acre are adequate for optimal yields.
SOURCE: Ohio State news release.