5 High-Yield Corn Production Strategies

Corn growers across the country are looking for ways to increase yield potential, especially given recent strong, yet volatile, commodity prices.

There are many theories on high-yield corn production best practices, but what really leads to success?

Combining BASF research and what he’s learned from high-production corn growers, BASF Technical Service Representative A.J. Woodyard recommends a total management approach, as a combination of the practices below are key to growing high-yield corn.

1. Develop A Season-Long Plan

Developing a cohesive plan is a crucial first step to ensure success.

“Growers interested in high-yield corn production should put together a season-long road map for their acres,” Woodyard said. “Early in the season, growers should set aside time to develop a full-season plan on how they’re going to get the most out of every acre.”

Woodyard notes the best time for planning is when seeds are purchased, as many decisions depend on hybrid selection. Hybrids respond differently to management practices. Fertility, nitrogen, plant populations and fungicide must be tailored to each field and hybrid to successfully implement a high-yield program.

2. Hybrid Seed Selection And Planting Population

Choosing a hybrid seed designed for high-yield potential is an important decision for corn growers planning ahead for the season. Growers should select hybrids that come pre-packaged with traits that target specific issues for their soil and geography, which can threaten corn yields.

Population is another part of the planting decision that affects corn yields. The optimum plant population for a given field allows the crops to maximize the uptake of water, nutrients, sunlight and the length of the growing season.

“High-yield corn growers recognize the need to manage increased plant populations for higher yields,” Woodyard said. “Populations of 35,000 to 38,000 plants per acre are becoming more common in high-yield environments, and the number will likely continue to increase as we see more innovation in hybrids and management practices.”

3. Fertility Program

Increased fertility is also important for corn growers pushing higher yield potential. Corn yields benefit from a robust fertility program, including starter fertilizer, optimization of macronutrients like phosphorus and potassium and split applications of nitrogen to provide a balanced season long nutrient package.

4. Weed Control

In corn, weeds allowed to reach four or six inches in height can reduce yield potential by 3% and 7%, respectively.

“If you miss weeds early, they get bigger and tougher to control, potentially requiring multiple applications and/or higher use rates for effective control,” Woodyard said. “As the season progresses, weed competition costs farmers more money and diminishes yield potential.”

To effectively manage weeds, especially tough-to-control weeds that are glyphosate resistant, Woodyard recommends utilizing a comprehensive weed management program that incorporates a variety of proactive chemical, cultural and mechanical strategies.

“A preemergence application of Verdict™ herbicide, powered by Kixor herbicide technology, provides growers with a good foundation of residual weed control at the start of the season,” Woodyard said. “To incorporate an additional site of action, growers should follow up with a good post-emergence, glyphosate tank-mix partner like Armezon herbicide or Status herbicide.”

5. Sequential Fungicide Applications

Fungicide applications are a key component of high-yield, total management programs in corn. Corn growers intensively managing their acres for yield and risk mitigation, Woodyard said, should consider a sequential fungicide application program this season.

An application of Headline fungicide during the V5 to V8 timing followed by Headline AMP fungicide at VT to R3 provides corn disease protection and Plant Health benefits throughout several critical stages of corn production, ultimately helping to maximize yield.

Though disease pressure is typically minimal during the early application window, the preventative control of Headline inhibits movement of troublesome corn diseases that thrive in residue and move up the corn canopy. By following-up with a Headline AMP application after tassel, growers are providing their crop with another level of disease protection to help maximize yields.

Headline AMP contains the equivalent of a full rate of the active ingredient found in Headline fungicide and a unique, best-in-class triazole for added protection and a second mode of action.

“We see the greatest level of disease control and yield response with a Headline AMP application in the tassel to early blister stage,” Woodyard said. “If you do one application, it should be Headline AMP at tassel, but a sequential program provides disease protection throughout the growing season.”

Maximize Corn Yield Potential

Though most high-yield corn production strategies are effective as standalone practices, the combination of these practices – as part of a season-long plan – is key to maximizing yield potential.

“We encourage growers to implement as many of these strategies on their operation as possible,” Woodyard said. “By developing a full-season plan, selecting the right hybrids and controlling weeds and diseases, growers can maximize their crops and continue to push yield and profit potential.”

For more information on BASF Crop Protection products, you can peruse their website, like them on Facebook and follow the company on Twitter.

Leave a Reply

Crop Inputs Stories
Crop InputsPlatform Specialty Products To Acquire Arysta LifeScience
October 20, 2014
Once the acquisition is complete, Platform Specialty Products will combine Arysta LifeScience with previously acquired companies Agriphar and Chemtura Crop Solutions. Read More
MicronutrientsMicronutrients Going Macro
September 9, 2014
Between 2014’s fantastic growing conditions and a heightened awareness on plant nutrition, the major players in micronutrients are gearing up for another big year. Read More
FertilizerFall Fertility 2014: Forecasting Fertilizer Use
September 7, 2014
Great crops this year have tapped the soil, and fall work is definitely called for, but how challenging will that get? Read More
FungicidesSudden Death Syndrome, Brown Stem Rot Reported In Indiana Soybeans
September 3, 2014
Farmers and retailers should be watching for symptoms of these two diseases over the next few weeks as they are best managed through preventative methods. Read More
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100Pinnacle Agriculture Acquires Minnesota Retailer
April 14, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings, LLC, ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100,  has successfully acquired Liebl Ag, LLC in Ada, MN.  Read More
CropLife 100CHS, Aurora Cooperative Complete Fertilizer Storage, Grain Shuttle Loading Facility
April 13, 2015
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading cooperative and ranked No. 5 on the CropLife 100, and Aurora Cooperative (ranked No. 21) Read More
CropLife 100GROWMARK Acquires Missouri Refined Fuels Terminal
April 2, 2015
Bloomington, IL-based GROWMARK and Magellan Pipeline Co. have entered into an agreement in which GROWMARK will acquire the refined fuels Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Acquires South Dakota Retailer
April 2, 2015
Wilbur-Ellis Co.’s Agribusiness Division, a recognized leader in precision agriculture technology and the distribution and marketing of plant protection, seed Read More
CropLife 100The McGregor Co. Closes Smith-Kem Acquisition
April 2, 2015
The McGregor Co. — ranked No. 16 on the CropLife 100 list of largest U.S. ag retailers — has completed Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Commemorates National Ag Day
March 20, 2015
The Illinois agriculture community gathered at BRANDT global headquarters on March 18 to celebrate National Ag Day behind this year's theme Sustaining Future Generations. Read More
Latest News
StewardshipTFI Announces Renewed Financial Commitment To Fertilize…
April 24, 2015
Today, The Fertilizer Institute’s (TFI) President Chris Jahn announced that TFI and over 100 partners will more than double existing Read More
Industry NewsMACA Names New Ambassador Coordinator
April 23, 2015
The Mid America CropLife Association (MACA) has named Michelle Kilper as its new Ambassador Coordinator. Michelle is a graduate of Read More
ManagementAg Retailer’s Role In Local Policy Making; Raising The …
April 23, 2015
CropLife’s Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj review their recent travels, precision ag efforts in Washington, DC, and the role of Read More
TMX-2050 In-Cab Display Launch Run Screen
Precision AgIn-Cab Computing 2015: Connectivity, Compatibility Take…
April 23, 2015
In terms of in-cab computing solutions for the agriculture market, companies like Case IH, Topcon, Trimble, John Deere and Raven Read More
USDA
StewardshipUSDA Outlines Building Blocks For Climate Smart Agricul…
April 23, 2015
Today, the USDA has announced a comprehensive and detailed approach to support farmers, ranchers, and forest land owners in their Read More
Industry NewsArysta LifeScience Welcomes New Territory Sales Manager
April 23, 2015
Arysta LifeScience North America recently announced the addition of Kaitlyn Acaster to the Canadian sales team. Acaster will fill the Read More
Crop InputsMarrone Bio Innovations Opens New Research Greenhouse
April 23, 2015
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. (MBI), a leading provider of bio-based pest management and plant health products for the agriculture, turf Read More
Crop InputsDuPont Acquires Taxon Biosciences
April 23, 2015
DuPont has agreed to acquire Taxon Biosciences, Inc., a leading microbiome discovery company. This acquisition will build on DuPont’s in-house capabilities Read More
Farmer on tablet
ManagementStudy: Consumers Don’t Care If U.S. Farmers Feed …
April 23, 2015
“We’re feeding the world” is a mantra often used by those involved in farming and food to build support for Read More
Industry NewsCorporate Responsibility Magazine Names Monsanto One Of…
April 22, 2015
Corporate Responsibility Magazine (CR Magazine) named Monsanto Co. to its 100 Best Corporate Citizens List for 2015. This is the Read More
FertilizerSpring Nitrogen Management: Form And Timing
April 22, 2015
Most corn producers have planned their spring nitrogen program for 2015, and many have already started to implement their program. Read More
FMC 3Rive 3D
Industry NewsFMC Corp. Completes Acquisition Of Cheminova
April 22, 2015
FMC Corp. has completed the closing of its acquisition of Cheminova A/S, a multinational crop protection company based in Denmark Read More
SoftwareSyngenta Expands AgriEdge Excelsior Nationwide For 2015
April 22, 2015
Growers across the country can now take the guesswork out of improving their farm’s production, land value, farm stewardship and Read More
Cornfield near Sioux City Iowa
HerbicidesU.S. Regulators May Start Testing Food For Glyphosate R…
April 21, 2015
U.S. regulators may start testing food products for residues of the world’s most widely used herbicide, EPA told Reuters’ Carey Read More
FungicidesBRANDT Adds Zonix Biofungicide To Portfolio
April 21, 2015
BRANDT has added Zonix biofungicide to its rapidly expanding line of organic and sustainable products. Zonix is a contact fungicide that Read More
ManagementMissouri Experts: Spring Planting Slow Start Won’…
April 20, 2015
In the first of the agronomy teleconferences with Extension specialists, University of Missouri Extension climatologist Pat Guinan said the slow Read More
Carl Casale of CHS
Industry NewsCooperative CHS Reports Net Income Of $471.5 Million Fo…
April 20, 2015
CHS Inc., the nation’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, has announced company net income Read More
Industry NewsCHS Insurance Names New Director Of Sales
April 17, 2015
Bryan Lewis has been named director of sales for CHS Insurance, the nation’s largest agribusiness insurance broker and full-service insurance Read More