You can get a grasp on projected ear count before pollination. Farm Journal Associate Field Agronomist Missy Bauer provides the process in episode 7 of Corn College TV.
· Measure a 1,000th of an acre.
· Count the plants.
· Subtract the plants that won’t put on a good, harvestable ear.
“In the middle of the season, use plant spacing and stalk diameter as your guidelines,” Buaer says. “Compare each plant to its neighbors.”
Then use these numbers to help refine your farm production by measuring ear count later in the season.
“You want to minimize the difference between plant count and ear count,” Bauer says. “In a corn-soybean rotation, that number should be around 1200. But in corn on corn, with heavy residue conditions, that number could be 2,000.”
Bauer reminds farmers it’s all about ear count because every 1000 ears per acre is worth 5 to 7 bu.
Learn more in Episode 7 of Corn College TV.