Bob Nielsen

123 articles by this author

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Successful stand establishment of a corn crop relies on many factors, including the successful emergence of the seedlings in the first place. Seedling emergence occurs as a result of elongation of the mesocotyl that elevates the coleoptile or “spike” toward the soil surface.


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Conventional wisdom says that the prime planting “window” to maximize corn yields in much of Indiana opens about April 20 and closes about May 10. This “window” typically opens about one week later across the northern tier of Indiana counties (later warmup) and about one week earlier across the southern tier of Indiana counties (earlier warmup).



Results from 97 field scale trials around Indiana since 2008 suggest that maximum yield response to plant populations for 30-inch row corn grown under minimal to moderate stress conditions occurs at about 32,150 PLANTS per acre (ppa), equal to seeding rates of about 33,840 SEEDS per acre (spa). 




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Delayed maturity of corn due to late planting or simply cool growing seasons often translates into delayed or slow drydown of mature corn grain prior to harvest and, consequently, higher than desired grain moisture contents at harvest. Wetter grain at harvest increases the need for artificially drying the grain after harvest which, in turn, increases the growers’ production costs and can delay the progress of harvest itself.