Possibly the most significant factor that determines your corn crop yield this year is the variety and type of corn you choose to sow. Not only do you need to play to your farm’s strengths and pick a corn suitable for your climate, but you also need to choose a variety you can get a good return on, thus making a decent profit.
But there are more ways to improve corn yield. With careful corn management and a practiced eye, you can work to boost your corn yield throughout the season, beating competitors and taking farming into your own hands!
Tip 1 – Plant your corn correctly.
What you’re looking for here is uniformity. Sow your seeds evenly throughout the field, leaving enough room for them to all grow in optimum conditions (do a test run with your seeder before you start to confirm this).
You also want to ensure that all corn seeds emerge at roughly the same time; those that germinate later can act as weeds, taking up nutrients and slowing down the growth of other corn plants. This will reduce your yield and could push harvest back a few weeks. To combat this, choose a more reliable seed supplier, don’t mix leftovers from last year with this year and manually go out and remove late germinators.
Tip 2 – Don’t forget the leaves.
It’s too easy to ignore the leaves of the corn plant and focus more on what you’re after: the corn. This would be a mistake. Take note of the leaves of your corn plants as they will indicate the overall health of the plant. An unhealthy plant isn’t going to yield as much as a healthy plant.
In corn varieties, the leaves of the plant will begin to curl up when the plant is under stress (i.e. it’s too hot for the plant, they can’t get enough co2…). Curling of the leaves closes the stomata, reducing the exchange of gases and nutrients, thus reducing the sugars produced that make up your corn.
Tip 3 – Welcome the night.
During the day, with that hot sunlight bearing down, plants are constantly whirring through photosynthesis, gathering energy and producing the sugars and products needed to grow and produce corn.
However, it’s not until the night time that those sugars and nutrients are actually deposited as corn. Therefore, you should always ensure that your crops have enough night time. No lighting up the fields with special lights to get ahead unless you know what you’re doing. It’s a delicate balance and if you want a great yield, just let nature take care of your corn!
Tip 4 – How plants work.
Your corn crop ultimately has the same goal as you; produce as many high-quality corn kernels as possible. If your crop is lacking in nutrients after it’s been pollinated and ready for growing corn, it will move energy and sugars from growing important plant parts like leaves and stalks into the corn instead.
This results in weaker crops. The stalks may not be as tall, you’ll have wilted leaves and some may just fall over with the weight of the corn. This is going to drastically reduce the number of corns that you can harvest from that field, as many evade your harvester.
Overall, the best advice we have for you is to take the time to understand your crop. The more you know and understand how your crop grows and produces corn, the better you can help it. Of course, you’ll need to understand how to take care of your land first, but that’s another blog post that you can find on our website!