A far cry from where corn yields stood 50 years ago, Stine’s high-population (HP) corn planted in the Stine® HP Twin 20 Planting System is getting closer to achieving consistent 300 bushel per acre yields. With each year, we see better and clearer results from our research. Results from Stine’s HP Corn® testing over the past few years have helped us develop best management practices to help growers achieve maximum yields.
Plant early — Delayed planting results in bigger plants and requires a lower population. The longer planting is delayed, the greater the need to adjust populations down accordingly.
Adequate soil drainage — Water-logged or poorly drained soils will be short of oxygen. When either oxygen or water is the limiting factor in corn production, a lower population is needed.
The right hybrid — Stine's hybrids specifically suited for high-population planting are shorter than traditional hybrids and have leaves that grow upright to catch more sunlight. These hybrids also have compact structures that produce outstanding roots and stalks, ensuring a sturdier plant that thrives in higher populations.
Adequate nutrients — Medium to high levels of phosphorus and potassium with the appropriate amount of nitrogen and sulfur applied at the proper time is essential. Most of this needs to be applied during the growing season as a sidedress or over the top application and must include the sulfur.
Appropriate populations — On highly productive soils, for example, growers should plant in the 41,000 to 51,000 range, with the high end of the range restricted to the newest short hybrids.
Harvest early to maximize gains — Harvesting in a timely fashion will help minimize weather-related harvest issues.
Assuming optimum weather and field conditions, our results indicate that growers who plant in narrow rows with more equidistant spacing may improve yield by three to nine percent. Moreover, growers who choose the right variety or hybrid for high-population planting may improve yield by five to 12 percent. Finally, growers who maintain correct soil fertility with timely nitrogen applications may be able to improve yield by an additional 10 to 20 percent.
As we plant, harvest and research our way to consistently higher yielding corn hybrids, we remind our growers the importance of choosing the right genetics for high-population planting. Contact your local Stine® agronomist for more details.