Walking through a corn stand that is in its infancy is a good way to determine the crop’s relative health, Farm Journal agronomist Ken Ferrie says in Corn College TV Season 3.
During Episode 2, Ferrie evaluates an early planted field where dry soil, a freeze and in-furrow fertilizer are all at play. Comparing a healthy plant alongside a struggling one provides important insights.
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"He still might put on an ear, but next to this two-collar plant, already there’s a pretty good chance that this one will be barren or it will be a little nubbin, meaning that the stress between these two plants will be high enough that this plant will shut down the ear development of this one itself," Ferrie says about the struggling plant.
Determining whether a field should be replanted should turn on multiple factors, including the quantity of moisture available in the soil, the time window available and the volume of yield potential that has already been given up. Once a farmer decides to replant, it’s necessary to move forward.
"We’ll have two tillage passes that we have to assess to it, and then when we come back to plant because of the technology like autosteer, this has been planted with RTK, his new row will go between the old rows," Ferrie says, referencing to his plans for one farmer’s field. "That allows us then to bring in row crop cultivation to finish taking out what corn survives two passes."
Learn more in Episode 2 of Corn College TV Season 3: