Corn Management Best Practices
Before Planting Seed Corn
- Review and select the correct hybrid for each area you are going to plant (see ‘Selecting your Hybrid” below). Seed selection may depend on the soil type, crop rotation, end use (grain or silage), maturity, yield data and trait packages requested.
- Check your fertility needs. Testing your soil’s pH and following the recommended nitrogen needs from your soil test is important. The fertilization of your ground may also depend on your crop rotation.
- Prepare your seedbed. Excessive soil moisture and poor soil tilth can have negative impacts on germination, seedling health and emergence. Working your soil will depend on the planting method you choose: Conventional, No-Till, etc.
Planting Seed Corn
- You should wait until soil temperatures reach 50-55 degrees F to plant.
- Adjust your planter for a consistent, accurate drop. Depending on the plant populations you are looking to push, monitor the seed that is being distributed at the rate and spacing desired. Make sure doubles and/or skips are not consistently happening.
- Planting depth around 2” is most beneficial for situations. Check the depth not only when you enter the field, but as you enter each field condition (sandy or heavy soil, tillage type, etc.). This is critical to keep the plant’s root system as strong as possible.
- Planting at the correct speed. Planting too fast can cause the planter to bounce, resulting in more uneven seed distribution and more doubles or skips.
During the Season
- Scout your fields early and often. After early germination, check your corn for diseases, weeds, crusting and early insects.
- Weed control will depend on the spraying options that exist. For conventional corn, you want to use conventional weed control practices. However, with our Pilgrim brand you have the ability to use glyphosate as a lower maintenance option. Remember, weeds over 4” tall will reduce your optimal yield.
- Control insects with the most appropriate trait packages. Depending on the pest, rootworm, corn borer, etc., select the hybrid that will assist in eliminating these pest from cutting into your yield. In some situations, an application of insecticides may be appropriate.
Selecting Your Seed Corn Hybrid
- Maturity selection – The most important part of selecting your hybrid is knowing the maturity you need. Selecting too early or late can cause problems.
- Yield data – Corn with multiyear data can give more consistent yields on varying soils and types of growing seasons.
- Selecting traits – Get the corn traits that are particular for your growing situation.
- Standability – Good standability makes your life easier when harvest comes about.