Home Crop Monitoring Corn School: Yield-boosting strategies heading into a dry year

Corn School: Yield-boosting strategies heading into a dry year


Precipitation, in each the frozen and liquid kind, has been scarce in a massive a part of the northern corn rising areas of North America, creating the prospect of planting into a attainable drought.

There are a number of decisions a grower could make to assist maximize water use and mitigate drought threat, explains Alana Serhan, market improvement agronomist for Western Canada with Satisfaction Seeds, on this episode of the Corn College.

First, think about ear sort and plant inhabitants, she says.

Whereas mounted ear hybrids present consistency, flex ear hybrids reply to agronomic situations to supply bigger ears, which might make up for a decrease plant inhabitants.

“If we do end up getting some timely rains throughout this growing season, if we have a semi-flex or a full flex ear, even with that population slightly lower, those ears have the potential to flex out if Mother Nature gives us what we’re asking for. They can take advantage, and come close to what it would have been with a fixed ear,” she explains.

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“If we can bump down our population a little bit, that means our overall water requirement will be slightly less as well,” continues Serhan.

For a grain corn grower focusing on 34 thousand crops per acre, that may imply dropping to 32 thousand, with a comparable discount for silage corn, she says.

Leaf sort, which frequently will get mentioned concerning weed management, is one other consideration for maximizing moisture, as a hybrid with a “pendulum” leaf construction will stretch out and canopy the row earlier.

“We think about that same principal as it relates to water and the loss of moisture, even throughout the day,” she says. “We don’t have that evapotranspiration where our morning dew gets burnt off quickly.”

As for planting timing, it could be tempting to plant early to attempt to benefit from fleeting spring moisture from snowmelt, however Serhan notes it’s crucial to attend for the soil temperature to achieve the purpose the place the corn will germinate correctly at 10 levels C — possibly barely earlier if there’s a warming pattern within the forecast.


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