Plant Stand assessment – improved accuracy with measuring wheel.

If you have ever been frustrated trying to get an accurate plant population for an emergence issue using 1/1000th of an acre count there is a better method. For the last few years I have been using the measuring wheel method and have more confidence in my plant stands. The benefits of using this method are reduced ‘cherry picking’ of visually good or bad areas of the field, speed of count and improved accuracy of the count.

How does it work?

To use this method of population counts you push the measuring wheel and count 150 plants (I count by two’s, if you are really good you can count by three’s). When you reach a count of 150 plants, record the distance traveled in feet. Sorry no metric here record the measurement in feet. Repeat the count/measure three or four more times in the field or affected area. Average the measurement and convert using the following table by dividing the average number of feet for 150 plant count into the conversion factor. Example if I averaged 100 feet in a 30 inch row spacing the population would be 26,613 plants per acre (ppa) (2,613,600 divided by 100 feet = 26,136 ppa).

Also, assess non-emerged seedlings using the checklist in the Replant corn – How to decide article, by recording the population and the emergence issues we can make a good agronomic decisions for this year and future years.


What’s happening with the early planted corn?

 Contributed by Robert Moloney, NK Brand Seeds

So you planted your corn really early this year.  Now it’s just coming out of the ground and the stuff you planted a couple of weeks later is coming up in a week.  Did you make the right decision to plant it early?  Are the later planted acres going to yield just as much as the early?  Until we put a combine through it, there is no way to know for sure but in all likelihood the really early planted corn still has the advantage.  Since they are both coming up at the same time how can that be?  ROOTS!!  We don’t see the roots of a plant very often, but having a great root system is critical to getting high yields.  Early planted corn usually goes into cooler soils and this results in more root growth over vegetative growth initially.  This means that although you may not see these plants come up, they will have a jump on the later planted corn due to a bigger and more established root mass.

A bigger root almost always a benefit to a plant.  The research on the benefits of early weed control has shown that plants with early weed competition have their growth skewed more heavily to vegetative top growth than root growth (and have lower yields).  With the dry spring we are experiencing across most of the province a bigger root system is going to help these plants find enough moisture early this spring.  Moisture is required for the plants to take up nutrients so bigger roots that can get to an area with moisture left helps nutrient uptake and allows the roots a larger quantity of soil to get nutrients from. 

Overall with the near ideal planting conditions this spring (albeit wanting a rain to get the crop up) very little corn should have been put into a tough seed bed which bodes well for getting the crop off to a great start and (if the weather co-operates this summer) an awesome yield next fall!

Corn Population Management

We are often asked what the best planting rate for my corn is. Syngenta Agronomy Research has studied this since 1992 over a wide range of hybrids, maturities and yield environments. The goal of this study has been to help farmers understand how yield environment, grain prices, seed costs and hybrid population response influence planting rate recommendations.
Population Response Factors
Yield environment – Optimum planting rate increases as the overall field yield potential increases. Yield response from changing seeding rates is more visible in higher yield environments.
Hybrid response – Hybrids differ considerably in ability to increase yield at higher or lower than optimum populations. Syngenta Agronomy Research provides population response scores for most key hybrids (Ask your dealer for the most current Hybrid Planting Population Adjustment Chart).
Economic factors – Optimum planting rates for maximizing returns (calculated as commodity price times yield less seed cost) are always lower than optimum planting rates for highest yield. Optimum economic planting rate increases as commodity price increases, although seed cost influences seeding rates much less. (The chart below compares several planting rates and commodity prices.)

For all the details contact your NK dealer or reply here.

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