Boost corn yields

We will be discussing the proven methods you can use to boost corn yields this year. I am sure you are already using most of these ideas. I challenge you to pick at least one idea that fits your farming practices and try to improve it.

• Use minimum or no-till — especially on erodible land. It helps in conserving moisture loss reduces soil erosion and minimizes compaction.

• Set a realistic yield goal — It should be based on your soil type, organic matter and historical data. Goals based on 2012 or 2013 alone will be unrealistic. So you may want to use last five-year average as a guide.

• Study yield maps — Analyze your yield data field by field with your Seed Consultant and try to Match hybrids with soil types.

• Do soil tissue tests — These tests should be conducted at the right time and the advice of the consultant followed.

• Fertilize to match your yield goal — Make sure to compensate for the nutrients removed by the high yields of last year.

• Plant Population – There is a limit to how many kernels we can put on an ear of corn. If we want to increase yields, we will have to add to the number of ears harvested. Gradually increase your corn populations to match your soil type, fertility, hybrid, and yield goal.

• Use variable rate technology if available, based on soil types and hybrids.

• Maintain proper levels of key nutrients — Along with nitrogen, balance phosphate, potash and Sulfur.

• Check micronutrient deficiency or toxicity — for Zinc, Manganese, and Iron.

• Control weeds early — It is even more important now because of the herbicide resistant weeds like Palmer Amaranth.

 

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