Watch Those Yield Ceilings

Planting mismanagement can put a ceiling on yield potential, even before the plant emerges from the soil.Your grower-customers should keep this in mind if they are still preparing for this year’s corn production.

That’s the key message from Ohio State University Extension agronomists this spring. In Ohio and some other states, spring started off much like last year: cool and wet. Meteorologists are forecasting warmer, drier weather for the remainder of the month, and should make for ideal planting conditions.

"For some, this year seems like a repeat of 2007, with wet weather in some areas and some cool days," says Peter Thomison, an Ohio State University Extension agronomist. "But there is still plenty of time to get the corn crop established. We don’t want farmers to cut corners and push to get the corn in the ground before the field is ready. Mistakes made during the planting operation, like ‘mudding seed in,’ are usually irreversible when it comes to impacts on yields."

But agronomists don’t want growers to wait, either. The longer a grower waits to plant, the more a ceiling is put on yields.

"Generally we start seeing yields begin to fall about 1.5 bushels per acre per day of delayed planting after mid-May," says Thomison. "The record yields of recent years owe much to timely planting, as well as good seedbed conditions."

Thomison offers the following recommendations to help growers in Ohio and similar climates get their corn off to a good start:

  • Complete planting by mid-May. "Begin planting as soon as field conditions will allow, but avoid early planting on poorly drained soils or those prone to ponding," says Thomison.
  • Adjust seeding depth according to soil conditions. "Plant between 1.5 to 2 inches deep to provide for frost protection and adequate root development. In April, when the soil is usually moist and evaporation rate is low, seed should be planted no deeper than 1.5 inches," says Thomison. "When soils are warm and dry, corn may be seeded more deeply up to 2 inches on non-crusting soils."
  • Adjust seeding rates on a field-by-field basis. "Planting depths can vary from one field to another and within the same field. Adjust seeding based on soil type and drainage characteristics," says Thomison. Lower seeding rates are preferable when droughty soils or late planting (after June 1) limit yield potential. On soils that average 120 bushels per acre or less, final stands of 20,000 to 22,000 plants per acre may be adequate for optimal yields. On soils that average about 140-150 bushels per acre, a final stand of 28,000 plants per acre may be needed to optimize yields. On soils averaging 175 bushels per acre or more, final stands of 30,000 plants per acre or higher may be needed to optimize yields.
  • Plant full-season hybrids first, followed by mid-season and short-season hybrids. "Full-season hybrids lose the most yield potential the longer a farmer waits to plant them," says Thomison.

Leave a Reply

Latest News
StewardshipOhio Grower: Why Water Quality Matters To Me
August 3, 2015
Fresh off the first anniversary of last summer’s unfortunate Toledo Water Crisis — which was largely attributed in mainstream media Read More
Young soybean field
Industry NewsH.J. Baker To Build New Facility In Emporia, KS
August 3, 2015
H.J. Baker has announced the expansion of its Animal Health and Nutrition division with the ground breaking of a new Read More
Young corn plants
Crop InputsNufarm Reorganizing Ag, Industrial Vegetation Managemen…
August 3, 2015
Today Nufarm announced a reorganization of its Agriculture and Industrial Vegetation Management sales and marketing organizations effective August 1, 2015. Read More
StewardshipExcellence Through Stewardship Reaches 30 Members
August 3, 2015
Excellence Through Stewardship, a non-profit that promotes the adoption of best practices and stewardship in agricultural technology, reached the milestone Read More
CropLife 100Southern States Coop Hosting Drone Flight This Friday
August 3, 2015
Southern States Cooperative — No. 9 on the CropLife 100 — is hosting an FAA-approved drone demonstration at Grandview Farms Read More
CropLife 100Aligned Ag Distributors Adds Four New Owners
July 30, 2015
Aligned Ag Distributors LLC has announced the addition of four new customer/owners to Franklin Holding Co. LLC. They are: The Read More
FungicidesReport: Sudden Death Syndrome Symptoms Appearing In Soy…
July 30, 2015
Last week, symptoms of sudden death syndrome (SDS) began to appear in April 15-planted soybeans at the University of Illinois’s Read More
Seed/BiotechAdvanta Seeds Adds New Phoenix Corn Hybrids
July 30, 2015
Corn growers in the High Plains and Western states have new options available for the 2016 growing season from Advanta Read More
ManagementTechnology and agriculture: a Futurist’s Perspective
July 30, 2015
Futurist David Zach, speaking at this week’s InfoAg Conference in St. Louis, shared thoughts on the benefits and limitations of Read More
Biofuels Plant in Lousiana
Industry NewsIdle Biofuels Plant In Louisiana To Reopen As Ammonia F…
July 30, 2015
A Lithuania-based company plans to spend $265 million to reopen an idle biofuels refinery in Grant Parish as an ammonia Read More
FFA at Monsanto Booth at the 2015 National Farm Machinery Show
Industry NewsFive Students Receive The 2015 Monty’s Plant Food Compa…
July 29, 2015
This fall, five college-bound students will have financial support through the Monty’s Plant Food Company FFA Scholarship. All five scholarship Read More
GYPSOIL Blendable Pellets
Crop InputsBeneficial Reuse Management Launches Pelletized Gypsum …
July 29, 2015
Beneficial Reuse Management (BRM) announced this week at Ag Media Summit that its GYPSOIL Pelletized Products Division will open a Read More
StewardshipOhio Water Quality Project To Determine How Much Phosph…
July 27, 2015
Researchers with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University are looking for farmers in Read More
FertilizerKoch Agronomic Services Launches N-TEGRATION Technology
July 27, 2015
Koch Agronomic Services, LLC (KAS) has launched  N-TEGRATION Technology, a process technology platform designed to enable production of enhanced efficiency fertilizers at Read More
HerbicidesExpert: IARC Herbicide Classifications Leading To Confu…
July 24, 2015
Few people in the crop protection industry had heard of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) before this Read More
ManagementFCI Trade Summit Update & Precision Tank Turns 50
July 23, 2015
Editors Dave Frabotta and Eric Sfiligoj discuss the upcoming FCI Trade Summit in Las Vegas, NV, and how Precision Tank Read More
Palmer pigweed seedhead in cotton
HerbicidesUSDA Deregulates Dow AgroSciences’ Enlist Cotton Trait
July 23, 2015
The USDA today issued its decision deregulating Dow AgroSciences’ Enlist cotton trait in the U.S. The USDA has now completed its Read More
Industry NewsVerdesian Life Sciences Showcases Versatile Product Por…
July 23, 2015
Technology has revolutionized agriculture by bringing farmers, retailers and distributors to the forefront of the digital age. To meet the Read More