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Ken Ferrie Challenges You to Improve Your Corn Stand

November 24, 2010
By: Margy Eckelkamp, Farm Journal Machinery Editor and Test Plot Director

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Head to the field with Farm Journal Field Agronomist Ken Ferrie and learn how to identify a good stand in episode 5 of Corn College TV.

“We talk about the importance of ear count, ear count, ear count,” Ferrie says. “And ear count comes from uniform stands.”

Without evaluating how you currently perform out in the field, you can’t improve. When it comes to uniformity you need to be achieving success in two ways: picket fence stands and photocopy ears.

“Describing corn stands as a picket fence is a way to explain how you did with seed singulation,” Ferrie says. “Planter performance should be precise to give each plant an equal chance. If you see doubles or skips look to the planter. But that’s the easy part.”

The second half of uniformity is influences by more than just one variable.  

“Photocopy plants is the other part of uniformity,” Ferrie says. “Plants need to be uniform in pollination, in growth, in visual appearance and in stalk diameter.”

It’s standard acceptance to expect a 10% to 13% drop from planted target to ear count. However, Ferrie says grower should aim to fine tune their fields to only a 5% to 6% drop.

“We have growers who can do it. They may not do it every year, every field, but they do it consistently,” he says.  

Tune in to learn how you can head to the field with simple tools and learn a lot about your stand performance.  Learn more in Episode 5 of Corn College TV. 

episode5 stand

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