Late Planting Doesn't Always Spell Doom

February 28, 2012 08:21 PM


You can make management adjustments to preserve your corn yield potential.

While late planting concerns may cause some growers to reconsider planting corn, an Ohio State University Extension specialist says producers can make management adjustments that can preserve yield potential and save money.
Because of uncooperative weather in 2011, most of Ohio's corn crop was planted after May 31 - well after the May 10 recommended planting date. Even so, the crop yielded better than expected statewide - testimony to how slight adjustments can make a big difference, says Peter Thomison.
"When you're planting in early June, you expect lower yield potential," he says. "But this past year, the results really defied conventional wisdom because in some cases, late-planted corn (after May 31) quite often out-yielded the corn planted in mid-May."
Continuous improvements in corn genetics contributed to impressive yields last year, but according to Thomison, growers do have some control. He recommends changes in planting depth, seeding rate, nitrogen application and hybrid selection.
"Growers shouldn't throw in the towel for late growing situations," Thomison said. "But if a grower is confronted with late planting, they can still manage corn as effectively as they would manage early-planted corn, and they can make adjustments that could cut their costs," he said.
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