March 22, 2013 09:36 PM

Evaluate Corn Planting Dates

Corn planting date is one of the biggest influences on stand establishment. The likelihood of reduced stand establishment is greatest when planting into unfit seedbeds, when soils are excessively cold and wet, or when planting is quickly followed by a cold spell. Here are four tips from DuPont Pioneer experts to help producers weigh their early planting options:

  • Choose a planting date based on soil conditions and weather outlook. Plant when soil temperature is close to 50ºF and the near-term forecast shows a warming trend.
  • If a cold spell is expected at planting, stop for a few days to allow emergence to begin at moderate temperatures. With lighter soils planted early, be aware of the potential for large temperature swings that can affect emergence, especially if nighttime temperatures dip into the 40s. By waiting for those to temperatures to moderate a bit, farmers are likely to see more rapid and uniform plant emergence.
  • If planting in a field with lots of residue, consider strip-tillage and residue cleaners to improve seed-to-soil contact and warm the soil faster.
  • When selecting hybrids, choose higher stress-emergence scores to help diminish the risks associated with planting in cold-stress conditions.

Corn Rootworm Trait Approved

USDA has deregulated the Syngenta Agrisure Duracade trait (Event 5307), clearing the way for sales and planting of the technology as early as 2014. With its new and unique mode of action, Agrisure Duracade will be combined with the Agrisure RW trait to provide dual modes of action for corn rootworm control. 

Agrisure Duracade expresses a unique protein (eCry3.1Ab) to deliver protection against western corn rootworm, northern corn rootworm and Mexican corn rootworm. In company and university trials, the new trait delivered a 99.79% reduction in beetle emergence.

Secrets to Soybean Success

If you’re looking for management practices to boost soybean yields, consider the recommendations offered by Fred Below, University of Illinois crop physiologist.

In 2012, Below and his university team set up multi-location trials in Illinois to analyze the value of management factors that contribute to soybean yield.  What they discovered were six "secrets" that are critical to achieve high-yield goals. Below shared the factors with farmers during a BASF-sponsored educational session at the 2013 Commodity Classic.

1. Weather: Below’s team found that weather clearly influences the success rate of all other management factors. Management practices that promote strong root development, such as fertility, enhanced seed emergence and disease control, might help mitigate its negative effects.

2. Improve soil fertility: Below believes soil fertility is one of the most important components of high-yield soybean production. Improved soil fertility can be managed through balanced crop nutrition and fertilizer placement technologies.

3. Maximize genetic yield potential: Below says proper selection of soybean varieties is crucial for success in a management-intensive, high-yield production system.

4. Protect yield potential and maximize seed size: "Disease and insect control is imperative for producing any crop," Below says. By using a fungicide and insecticide, critical soybean leaf area is maintained for intercepting sunlight and maximizing seed fill.

5. Enhance seed emergence and vigor: Through the use of fungicidal, insecticidal and plant growth regulator seed treatments, early season growth and vigor are protected from stresses such as disease and insects.

6. Use narrow row spacing: Below says there are advantages to planting narrow rows, specifically 20" rows. He says narrow rows allow for precision fertilizer placement in a corn–soybean rotation. The 20" rows also improve light interception and ultimately provide a good foundation for maximizing yields.

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