Planting Populations: What’s Right for Your Fields?
As seed technology continues to change and growers look for ways to boost yields, increasing planting populations is becoming a more common practice. Planting populations have a significant impact on yield, but choosing the best populations for your field isn’t always black and white.
Many current hybrids work best in populations ranging from 20,000 to 40,000 plants per acre, with the variance based on row width, soil type, available moisture and yield goal. Typically, lower planting rates are recommended for fields with low yield potential or poor soil, while higher rates are encouraged with fertile soil.
Our research has allowed Stine® to develop hybrids that excel in each scenario, so we can forecast the optimum planting rate by hybrid in each individual field situation.
Along with fertility, the key ingredient for capturing maximum yield is sunlight. Ideally, you should look down the row pre-tassel and not see any filtration of sunlight. If this is done, you maximize sun exposure and photosynthesis, which enables the plant to make food. Stine researchers are developing plants with a greater leaf area index, allowing for maximum light interception.
During planting, one key point to remember is to plant five to 15 percent more seed than your expected final stand to prevent germination failure and seedling mortality. And, for a good, strong stalk, make sure soil tests are in the very high category for Phosphorus and Potassium.
The highest yields will likely come from new corn genetics with plant populations exceeding 40,000 plants per acre and in row widths of less than 30 inches.
To talk to one of our regional sales agronomists, who can help you determine the right populations to maximize yield in your fields, contact us.
CORN PLANTING POPULATION, ROW WIDTH AND YIELD COMPARISON