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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012

    Get Your Corn Crop Off to a Good Start

    APRIL 12, 2012
    By: University News Release

    Corn growers wanting to ensure a healthy crop with strong yields need to plan ahead, including knowing when to plant, when and if to till, and how to make the right seed depth adjustments based on soil conditions, says an Ohio State University Extension expert.

    "Mistakes made during crop establishment are usually irreversible, and can put a 'ceiling' on a crop's yield potential before the plants have even emerged," said agronomist Peter Thomison.

    Following are some proven practices that will help get a corn crop off to a good start:

    Till only when necessary and under proper soil conditions. Avoid working wet soil, and reduce secondary tillage passes. Perform secondary tillage operations only when necessary to prepare an adequate seedbed. Shallow compaction created by excessive secondary tillage can reduce crop yields. Deep tillage should be used only when a compacted zone has been identified and soil is relatively dry. Late summer and fall are the best times for deep tillage.

    Complete planting by early May. The recommended time for planting corn in northern Ohio is April 15 to May 10, and in southern Ohio April 10 to May 10. But if soil conditions are dry and soil temperatures are rising quickly, and the 5-7-day forecast calls for favorable conditions, start planting before the optimal date. During the 2-3 weeks of optimal corn planting time, there is, on average, about one out of three days for field work. This narrow window of opportunity further emphasizes the need to begin planting as soon as field conditions allow, even though the calendar date might be before the optimal date.

    Avoid early planting on poorly drained soils or those prone to ponding. Yield reductions resulting from 'mudding the seed in' may be much greater than those resulting from a slight planting delay. Also, if dry corn seed absorbs cold water as a result of a cold rain or melting snow, 'imbibitional chilling injury' may result. Cold water can cause similar injury to seedling structures as they emerge during germination. Such injury in corn seed ruptures cell membranes and results in aborted radicles, proliferation of seminal roots and delayed seedling growth.

    Adjust seeding depth according to soil conditions. Plant between 1.5 to 2 inches deep to provide for frost protection and adequate root development. In early to mid-April, when the soil is usually moist and evaporation rate is low, seed should be planted no deeper than 1.5 inches. When soils are warming up and drying fast in late May or early June, corn may be seeded more deeply, up to 2 to 2.5 inches on noncrusting soils. Consider seed-press wheels or seed firmers to ensure good seed-soil contact.

    Adjust seed planting rates on field-by-field basis. Adjust planting rates by using the yield potential of a site as a major criterion for determining the appropriate plant population. Higher seeding rates are recommended for sites with high yield potential, high soil-fertility levels and water-holding capacity. Follow seed company recommendations to adjust plant population for specific hybrids.

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012

    Corn Planting Gets an Early Start

    Ran across this report today, thought it kinda tied into this post.

    Yesterday, USDA reported that 7% of the U.S. corn crop is in the ground. This put it ahead of last year’s progress, which showed 3% of corn planted at this time in 2011. The average pace during the past 5 years is only 2%.

    USDA’s weekly Crop Progress report covers the 18 states that planted 92% of last year’s corn acreage in the U.S.

    The ag agency also reported that 61% of the winter wheat crop is in “good” or “excellent” condition compared with 58% last week and 36% at this time a year ago.

    In a report to investors, Henry Kirn, analyst for UBS, said, “Corn, soybean and wheat prices remain well above historical averages. While USDA forecasts 2012 farm cash net income down 6.5% year-over-year, 2012 is still forecast to be the second strongest farm income year on record, behind only 2011. We see strong income as likely to lead to strong equipment demand in 2012 and solid demand in 2013.

    Kirn also reports the future prices for the three main grains were mixed last week. Using nearest expiring futures prices:

    – Corn closed at $6.49 per bushel, down 1% from last week and down 16% from last year.

    – Soybeans closed at $14.31 per bushel, up 1% from last week and up 5% from last year.

    Wheat closed at $6.43 per bushel, down 2% from last week and down 19% from last year.

    Posted April 10, 2012
    Last edited by BritFarmer44; 04-13-2012 at 07:15 PM.

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