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 100The Andersons Starts Venture Capital Subsidiary
January 26, 2015
The Andersons has established Maumee Ventures, a venture capital subsidiary designed to foster promising innovations that strategically align with the company’s core businesses. Read More
CropLife 100CHS Partners With Northern Partners Coop On Fertilizer Warehouse
January 21, 2015
In addition, the two companies will form a joint venture to build and operate a grain barge loading facility that will handle corn, soybeans and wheat for export through the CHS terminal at Myrtle Grove, LA. Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Move To Colorado Complete
January 20, 2015
Wilbur-Ellis Co. announces the opening of its new Agribusiness Division location in the Denver, CO, Metro Area. The new facility will host key personnel as the company shifts the base of its Agribusiness operations from California to Colorado. Read More
CropLife 100United Suppliers, McGregor Co., Five Others To Form Aligned Ag Distributors
January 20, 2015
These companies will continue to operate as independently owned and operated businesses, however, their crop protection divisions will now be formally aligned under the umbrella of Aligned Ag Distributors. Read More
CropLife 100Bozeman Named SEEDWAY Chief Operating Officer
January 16, 2015
He succeeds Donald Wertman, who will retire at the end of August 2015 after 40 years with the GROWMARK subsidiary. Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis’ Craig Bair Honored For Safety Contributions To Ag Aviation
January 14, 2015
The William O. Marsh Safety Award recognizes significant achievements in safety, safety education or an outstanding operational safety program. Read More
Latest News
ManagementOABA Conference Set To Highlight Trends, Technology And…
January 29, 2015
The third annual Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA) Industry Conference is set to take place February 4-5. Read More
FertilizerThe Fertilizer Institute President Jahn Testifies Befor…
January 28, 2015
The committee hearing, "Freight Rail Transportation: Enhancing Safety, Efficiency, and Commerce," looked at challenges facing our nation's freight rail network created by higher demand, rules and regulations and infrastructure needs. Read More
HerbicidesPurdue University Acquires Technology For Herbicide Mol…
January 28, 2015
Protea's LAESI DP-1000 Instrument System will be used in Purdue's College of Agriculture, the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, for the molecular imaging of herbicide active ingredients and other related compounds to optimize herbicide applications and improve weed management.  Read More
FertilizerH.J. Baker Hires New Crop Peformance Marketing Manager
January 27, 2015
As Marketing Manager for the Crop Performance division, Usman Khalid will work out of H.J. Baker’s global headquarters in Westport, CT, and will drive new initiatives for the division. Read More
CropLife 100The Andersons Starts Venture Capital Subsidiary
January 26, 2015
The Andersons has established Maumee Ventures, a venture capital subsidiary designed to foster promising innovations that strategically align with the company’s core businesses. Read More
Exclusive state-of-the art Stueve Construction designed “Vista View” Elevated Control Room.
Eric Sfiligoj2015 Agricultural Market Read: Mixed
January 26, 2015
The agricultural market could look radically different this year, profit-wise, depending upon which segment you do business in. Read More
Edward Chell Biosafe
Crop InputsBioSafe Systems Names Ed Chell California Territory Man…
January 26, 2015
BioSafe Systems has announced the recent addition of Ed Chell as California Territory Manager for the agrichemical division, supporting the crop protection, water treatment and food safety business segments. Read More
InsecticidesBayer CropScience Introduces Sivanto Insecticide
January 26, 2015
Sivanto precisely targets key damaging pests at multiple insect life stages to prevent damage to plants and help minimize the spread of diseases from insect carriers. Read More
ManagementRetail Collaboration, Communicating Agriculture’s Good …
January 23, 2015
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss the recent creation of Aligned Ag Distributors, and the US Farmers and Ranchers Read More
FertilizerOSU Expert: Toledo Water Crisis A Turning Point For Ohi…
January 23, 2015
The August 2014 water crisis in Toledo, OH, impacted Ohioans’ views of Lake Erie algae problems by increasing the attribution of blame of algae growth on agriculture. Read More
FertilizerH.J. Baker Launching TIGER XP
January 22, 2015
Tiger-Sul introduces this next generation sulphur-bentonite product with a proprietary activator – ensuring farmers have a well-balanced nutrient replacement program. Read More
Crop InputsH.J. Baker Expands China Sales Force
January 21, 2015
Global Agricultural firm H.J. Baker announced that sales veteran Shi Dongshen has joined their Shanghai office in China. This newest hire follows the recent opening of their Lianyungang Sulphur Bentonite Plant. Read More
CropLife 100CHS Partners With Northern Partners Coop On Fertilizer …
January 21, 2015
In addition, the two companies will form a joint venture to build and operate a grain barge loading facility that will handle corn, soybeans and wheat for export through the CHS terminal at Myrtle Grove, LA. Read More
Matt Hopkins5 Bold Predictions For Ag Retail In 2015
January 21, 2015
This past year was filled with ups and downs for the nation’s top ag retailers, but what will 2015 have in store? Read More
SoftwareDeere Launches App Center
January 20, 2015
The John Deere App Center provides users the ability to search and find apps most useful to their business or operations. Read More
Crop InputsNew Syngenta Herbicide Approved In Soybeans, Sunflowers
January 20, 2015
Syngenta will sell BroadAxe XC herbicide in 2015 for use on soybeans, sunflowers and dry peas Read More
CropLife 100Wilbur-Ellis Move To Colorado Complete
January 20, 2015
Wilbur-Ellis Co. announces the opening of its new Agribusiness Division location in the Denver, CO, Metro Area. The new facility will host key personnel as the company shifts the base of its Agribusiness operations from California to Colorado. Read More
Crop InputsNovozymes Sales Figures Up For 2014
January 20, 2015
Novozymes announces its sales growth in 2014 was in line with expectations as sales grew by 7% compared with 2013. Read More