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2021 Uniformity in Row Crops

By Gary Cross

Uniformity in row crops next to water and nutrient is the top issue. Let’s look at uniformity, mainly emergence to start with. The first plants out of the ground are going to be the best yielding. Studies I have done on corn and soybeans have proven this out; a 3-year study I did on corn showed the 1st plant out of the ground was the highest yielding, with the 3rd or 4th plant or later being much worse on yield, not producing ears, a weed, or blank stalk. The difference is huge – up to 60-90 bu difference from the corn plant that comes out the first day vs the 4th day. So getting as many plants to come up the 1st day is the key. Well, how do we do that? First, we buy very high-quality seed with great germination of 95% working with starter fertilizer. Next is planter adjustment to soil type – a clay soil verse and sandy soil. Next is warmer soil temps, so maybe a little later – late April or early May. This can vary with no till due to soil temperatures and moisture. With soybeans again drill adjustment to soil type, warmers soils, and high-quality seed. With soybeans, the 1st day vs the 4th day is the same, also better yield with the plants that come up 1st. These are a few agronomic tips when planting this spring.

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