Sound management decisions go a long way to help farmers secure yields and return on investment when growing corn. At Harvest Land, we offer a full consultative approach in which our YieldPro team prescribes a field-by-field plan for each year. Through the experience of our trained salespeople and input from our expert agronomists we have come up with our top recommendations for growing high yielding corn in our trade area.
- Hybrid Selection
Select hybrids from more than one maturity group for risk management and to spread out the workload at planting and harvest time. Choose hybrids with consistently high-yield corn ratings, good standability, strong disease resistance, and a range of maturities. Our trained sales staff can also walk you through the Characterization Charts to show the data from WinField United Answer Plots across the united states, and local plots, to help assist you in your hybrid selection.
- Seed Genetics
Plant hybrids that have shown good yield trial results, plus your tried-and-true hybrids. Seed genetics with built-in herbicide tolerance traits can significantly enhance control of a broad range of tough-to-manage grasses and broadleaf weeds. Diversify hybrid choices to spread risk with a range of maturities and insect and disease susceptibilities.
- Seed Treatments
Today’s seed treatments can protect against diseases, insect pests and nematodes to help get young corn plants off to a good start. The wide range of products available can be confusing. Your Harvest Land YieldPro Specialist can help you make good economic decisions focused on the pests you are most concerned with.
- Season-long Weed Control
Starting clean with a solid burndown program and/or tillage is critical. Aim to control weeds before they reach 4 inches in height. Larger weeds are more difficult to control and compete more tenaciously with corn seedlings for sunlight, soil, water and other nutrients. “Driver weeds” like tall waterhemp and marestail usually take a special program (higher cost) for adequate control.
Top yields can only be achieved with a solid nutrient management program. Proper nitrogen fertilizer practices are critical for high-yielding corn. YieldPro has proven to be a very effective program to prescribe field-specific programs to achieve this goal.
Consider geography, weather and individual field conditions, such as drainage, when deciding if it’s fit to plant. Recommended planting dates for corn tend to range from early April to early May. Spring weather can change quickly from cool and wet to dry and warm. Planting when the field is too heavy can cause uneven emergence and potential yield reduction due to poor stands and soil compaction issues later in the season.
- Seeding Rate
Follow your seed company’s recommendations because there are many variables, such as soil types, different hybrid maturity dates and yield potential on various soil types. Seeding rates are a decision best made field-by-field. The Characterization Charts your trained Harvest Land salesperson has access to, can help you decide the optimal seeding rate for your soil type and management style.
- Field Scouting
Spotting problems in the crop is imperative. Check fields early and often for emerging weeds, diseases and insects to help guide treatment decisions and economic thresholds. Season-long management of weed, disease and insect pests in corn will aid your goal for best return on investment at the end of the growing season. The YieldPro team has the solution for your scouting and diagnostic needs.
- Plant Health
Fungicides are a valuable tool. Planned fungicide use helps prevent disease pressure from negatively impacting yields especially in a no-till situation with higher residue or in fields that were planted to corn the year prior. Every hybrid purchased through Harvest Land will have a response to fungicide rate which will prove valuable in accessing the need for an application. The other option is to “wait and see”, but timely field scouting is critical.
- Resistance Management
Use diversified management practices to manage resistance to herbicides, fungicides and insecticides. Select products from different classes of chemistries that attack multiple, effective sites of action. Refer to sources such as Herbicide Resistance Action Committee (HRAC), Fungicide Resistance Action Committee (FRAC) and Insecticide Resistance Action Committee (IRAC).
During this undesirable economic time, it is imperative every decision you make for your farm is thought through and driven to make you a positive ROI. Mother Nature cannot be totally predicted or controlled, but we can do all that we can to ensure our crop can perform to the best of its ability in all situation. High yielding corn can be achieved by taking pieces from this article and personalizing it to your fields. Our YieldPro team, trained sales staff, and expect agronomists can help you navigate these decisions and achieve your yield goals.