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Eliminate Corn Planting Depth Variability To Boost Ear Counts

May 27, 2011
By: Rhonda Brooks, Farm Journal Seeds & Production Editor
Corn Planting Depth M Bauer
Bauer holds a corn plant and measures the planting depth. This small corn plant was planted at a depth of 1.4 inches, according to the tape measure.  

Frustrating is the word many farmers are using to describe the 2011 corn planting season, and for a variety of reasons. In some places, the ground is rock-hard dry while, in others, soils are soupy wet. Regardless of which extreme you face, hang on to the fact that how you plant those corn acres will define much of your crop success this season.

“This weather makes it tough, but we have to slow down the planter to establish good seed-to-soil contact and even planting depth,” notes Missy Bauer, Farm Journal associate field agronomist.

Good seed-to-soil contact and even planting depth contribute to uniform emergence which leads to what Ken Ferrie likes to call photocopied plants and ears.

“Describing corn stands as a picket fence is a way to explain how you did with seed singulation,” says Ferrie, Farm Journal field agronomist. “Planter performance should be precise as possible to give each plant an equal chance.”

As corn germinates this spring, both Ferrie and Bauer encourage farmers to evaluate how well they conducted their planting process. This practice takes little time to implement and can pay huge dividends. Listen here as Missy Bauer explains the simple steps involved.


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RELATED TOPICS: Corn, How To, Agronomy, Crops

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