From the time cropping is planned for the year, one of the many things growers have on their minds are yield numbers, and how they can either maintain or increase yield output. Producers are thinking about the different things they can do, but don’t always stop to think about the things that may limit their crops’ yield potential.
To start off the growing season, we’re breaking down five useful tips on what can be yield robbers when it comes to your corn crop.
1. Waiting too long to remove weeds
If you don’t have a total post-emergence program, getting rid of competitive weeds before they can attack your corn crop is an essential step. When a corn plant identifies weeds growing tall around it, the plant reallocates resources in a shade avoidance response so it will grow taller, to gain sunlight. This process ultimately has a negative effect on future growth and development of the crop, which puts a corn crop at risk for lower yield numbers.
2. Not checking your soil
To maximize your output, it’s important to know what is in your soil. Testing the soil is imperative for understanding what nutrients your crop is pulling out of the soil year after year, the composition and pH level of your soil, as well as the organic matter. Knowing these things will help you to understand if you have an under-performing field, and how you can maximize your corn field’s yield.
3. Irrigation (Mis) Management
At each growth stage – and depending on factors such as soil type and weather conditions – different water requirements will be needed for optimal growth. If you have access to irrigation, understanding when to water and when not to water your corn makes a vast difference when it comes to the overall yield of your crop.
4. Applying too much nitrogen
Nitrogen is one of the most useful nutrients used in corn production. When it is applied properly, it can increase the strength and yield of your corn crop, but after a certain level, it becomes costly and puts your nitrogen at risk of leaching, denitrification and volatilization.
5. Waiting too long to harvest
This may seem like a straightforward idea, but harvest time can become very hectic for farmers. Waiting too long to get your corn crop off the field can result in weathering and cause the crop to break down. Having a prioritization plan during harvest time is imperative to maximizing results.
ESN Smart Nitrogen
A single ESN application at planting time is convenient and saves operations in a growing corn crop. Since the most rapid uptake of N in corn (60-80% of total N needs) is mid-season, ESN is recommended as a one-source, pre-plant application for season-long feeding. Other benefits of ESN on corn include:
-Faster to apply than ammonia or solution
-Will not burn crop like urea or ammonium nitrate
-Lowers N loss to leaching and denitrification and eliminates volatilization
-For conditions of greater N loss, increase the amount of ESN in the blend
-Combine with more soluble, immediately available N where required.
For local crop results showing the positive effects of ESN on corn, click here.
To view the Virtual Farming Experience of ESN in corn crops, click here.
For questions and comments about ESN, tweet us @SmartNitrogen.