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10 tips for higher corn yields and improved profits

  •  Know the yield potential of a cornfield, its yield history, the soil type, and its productivity.
  •  Choose high yielding, adapted hybrids. Pick hybrids that have produced consistently high yields across a number of locations or years. Select hybrids with high ratings for foliar and stalk rot diseases when planting no-till or with reduced tillage, especially after corn. Select high yielding Bt rootworm resistant hybrids where there is potential for western corn rootworm damage.
  •  Follow pest management practices that will provide effective, timely pest control as well as weed control.
  • Aim to complete planting by May 10. If soil conditions are dry, begin planting before the optimum date but avoid early planting on poorly drained soils. If planting late, plant corn borer resistant Bt hybrids.
  • Follow practices that will enhance stand establishment. Adjust seeding depth according to soil conditions and monitor planting depth periodically during the planting operation and adjust for varying soil conditions. Make sure the planter is in good working order. Inspect and adjust the planter to improve stand establishment. Operate planters at speeds that will optimize seed placement. Uneven emergence affects crop performance because late emerging plants cannot compete with larger, early emerging plants.
  • Adjust seeding rates on a field-by-field basis. On productive soils, which may average 175 bushels per acre or more year after year, final stands of 32,000 plants per acre or more may be required to maximize yields.
  •  Supply the most economical rate of nitrogen. Use an application method that will minimize the potential loss of nitrogen.
  • Utilize soil testing to adjust pH and guide phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) fertilization. Avoid unnecessary P and K applications. High soil tests do not require additional inputs.
  • Perform tillage operations only when necessary and under proper soil conditions. Deep tillage should only be performed when a compacted zone is detected and soil conditions are dry (usually late summer).
  • Take advantage of crop rotation—corn grown after soybeans will typically yield 10 percent to 15 percent more than corn grown after corn.

(Source – http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/AgAnswers/story.asp?storyID=5814)

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