3 Keys to Higher Corn Yields This Year
Who wouldn’t like more bushels per acre this year? Adam Spelhaug, an agronomist from Peterson Farms Seed, shared some tips with FarmProgress.com on how to boost corn yields.
• Plant Early. Peterson Farms Seed data shows a 10 bushel advantage if you plant closer to May 1 vs. May 15th, according to Spelhaug. Those two weeks could add bushels to your harvest – nice rewards as long as you can tolerate the risk of planting early.
• Spacing. Early May planting puts spacing high on your list of important factors. Although many farmers want to be planting faster to get the job done quicker, keeping your planter speeds under 5 mph is key to achieving ideal seeding accuracy. Spelhaug says, “a smooth ride is required to maintain consistent seed depth and spacing that is necessary for an ideal stand.” They recommend keeping 80% of your plants within 2 inches of their intended spacing. Ideal spacing includes keeping plants within one leaf of the plant next to it.
• Fertilizing. Don’t skip fertilizing in hopes of saving money – it will cost you in the long run. From the article:
“Nitrogen management and timing are critical with the variable soils in the Dakotas. We range from heavy, flat valley soils to rolling medium ground to beach sands. Each of these soil types needs its own fertilizer”
Under fertilizing is just leaving money on the table – don’t under utilize this resource. In addition to nitrogen, test your soil to learn what your phosphorus and potassium needs are.