Corn Growth & Development

May 29, 2019

This year has been another season of extreme weather from very little planted in the north and good planting conditions in the south to storms and possible replant in the middle of the Hoegemeyer footprint. Because of all these weather events and planting timings it is important to be able to stage your corn growth. Staging the corn growth enables you to understand when the optimal time is to apply fertilizers, spray post applied chemicals, spray fungicide and to scout for certain insects.

Corn growth stages are defined into two stages, first comes the vegetative stages (V) and reproductive stages (R). The vegetative stages are divided into substages V1, V2, V3, etc. identifying the number of leaf collars. The reproductive stages are divided into substages R1, R2, R3, etc. identifying ear development.

Staging A Corn Seedling

Each leaf stage is defined according to the uppermost leaf whose leaf collar is visible. The first part of the collar that is visible is the back, which appears as a discolored line between the leaf blade and leaf sheath. The characteristically oval-shaped first leaf is a reference point for counting upward to the top visible leaf collar.

Emergence & Stand Establishment

  • VE Stage – This is emergence and takes place approximately 100-120 GDU’s or 4-5 days. The seed will need to take up approximately 30% moisture to begin germination.
  • V1 Stage – The first leaf to become visible will have a rounded tip and all other leaves after that will be pointed. The leaf will come out approximately 3-4 days after VE.
  • V2 Stage – Will take place approximately 200 GDU’s or 7-10 days after VE.
  • V3-V6 Stages – Will take place approximately 475 GDU’s or about 21 days after VE. This marks the end of the seed being the main source of food for the plant and the beginning of photosynthesis and the nodal root for food. The number of kernel rows are being determined.  Growing point is starting to come out of the ground.
  • V7-V9 Stages – Will take place approximately 610 GDU’s. This is a good stage to do any foliar treatments because it is the beginning of rapid growth and nutrient uptake.

Rapid Growth & Dry Matter Accumulation 

  • V10-V13 Stages – The plant has entered its fast growth stage. New leaves or V stages will happen every 2-3 days. Water and nutrient demand is great during this period. As growth works it way to V13 the ear will determine how long the kernel rows will be and complete the determination of ear size. In general, earlier season hybrids will move through these stages in less time.  We will be a good 6 weeks after emergence.
  • V14-V(n) – This is the final stages of the vegetative growth of the corn plant. Depending on growing conditions and the location of the field in the corn belt will determine the number of leaves on the plant.  In general, most plants will be around 16-22 leaves.  At V15 there is only 12-15 days until the reproductive stages begin. Root growth is ramped up to support the taller plant with an ear.  Roots could reach 5-8 feet deep at this point.


  • VT Stage – This is when the tassel is completely visible. The tassel will appear 2-3 days prior to silk emerging R1. Pollen shed normally occurs during the late morning or early evening. This is when most fungicides are recommended to be applied.
  • R1 Stage – Silks will appear, and pollination will begin. This process normally takes 2 -3 days. There is rapid uptake of nitrogen and phosphorus.

Grain Fill

  • R2 Stage – Blister looking kernel is forming on the cob and will continue to grow through R6. The cob is in its full size.
  • R3 Stage – Milk occurs about 18-22 days after R1. Corn kernels will start to yellow and the kernel growth will occur from cell expansion and starch accumulation.
  • R4 Stage – Dough is when the kernels start to thicken and accumulated 50% of their dry weight.
  • R5 Stage – Dent the kernel is around 55% moisture. This is where livestock producers will watch for the milk line to move from the top of the kernel to the tip for silage cutting.
  • R6 Stage – Physiological maturity has been achieved about 55-65 days after R1. The tip of the kernel will appear black and is called black layer. The kernel moisture at this point is 30-35% and dry down for grain harvest will start.

Corn development stages is an important part of managing your crop throughout the year. Today you need to know when it is safe to spray your post herbicides and to understand when the plant needs the most fertility. As you can see above the ear determines the number of kernels two different times during its growth, V6 and V12. Understanding your corn fields and hybrids give you a much better chance of managing corn development for a greater chance of higher yields.

-Stuart Carlson, Northern Region Product Agronomist

Categories: corn growth     Comments: 0     Tags: 2019 Planting, Corn Development    

Interesting May Weather - Let's Talk Replant Considerations

May 8, 2019

This spring has been a whirlwind of weather patterns throughout our region. While many farms have corn and even soybeans out of the ground, and others are still weeks away from planting, knowing your options for the possibility of a replant before that seed gets put into the ground can ease some tension if the problem may arise.
First and foremost, know that as a 100% by-crop customer of Hoegemeyer that is planting products with the LumiGENseed treatment, you have the opportunity to get your replant seed for FREE*. Even if you are not a 100% customer, know that, under some conditions, you may still have this opportunity. Speak with your DSM or Agronomist to learn more.
It is also important to consider the potential for yield loss from delayed planting due to replant. The possibility of a reduced stand in your first planting may still be more feasible than the potential yield loss due to a shorter growing season that your replant seed will have to deal with. While every situation is different, the main points to consider no matter what weather or planting situation you’ve been dealt is outlined below.
  • Planting date - and possible planting date of the replant
  • Expected stand loss
  • Hybrid or variety planted 
  • Soil conditions that may hinder any growth problems into the future

In summary, if you feel you may need to replant or have unexpected stand loss, don't hesitate to reach out to your local Hoegemeyer representative so we can evaluate options. Evaluating and resolving these issues as early as possible will get you on track to having the best opportunity for a successful crop.


- Jonathan Williams, Southern Team Product Agronomist


*Refer to 2018-19 Hoegemeyer Business Manual for specific Replant Program Guidelines


Components of LumiGEN technologies for soybeans are applied at a Corteva Agriscience, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont production facility, or by an independent sales representative of Corteva Agriscience or
its affiliates. Not all sales representatives offer treatment services, and costs and other charges may vary. See your sales representative for details.
Seed applied technologies exclusive to Corteva Agriscience and its affiliates.®, TM, SM Trademarks or Service Marks of Dow AgroSciences, DuPont or Pioneer and their affiliated companies or respective owners.


Categories: Corn, Replant, Soybeans     Comments: 0     Tags: Corn, Corn and soybeans, Jonathan Williams, LumiGEN seed treatment, replant guidelines, Soybeans    

Corn Seedling Injury & NH3

April 24, 2019

Anhydrous Ammonia, commonly called NH3, is one of the most commonly used sources of Nitrogen used by corn growers. NH3 is applied by injecting the gas into the soil 8-10” deep, a minimum of 5-7 days before planting. It is preferred to apply NH3 in the fall, if time and mother nature allows. Unfortunately the fall of 2018 made this a very challenging task. Spring-applied NH3, which carries more risk, is necessary when fall applied is not an option. Please take these items into consideration when using spring-applied NH3.


  • Applying the ammonia at an angle or parallel with the corn row at least 4-5 inches to the side will minimize the potential for seedling injury.

  • Distance and time:  The further the application from the seed and the longer you wait to plant, the better for the germinating seedling.

  • If you can’t wait 5-7 days after NH3 application to plant, apply the ammonia as deep as possible (8-10”).


Anhydrous Ammonia when injected into wet soils and not applied deep enough can cause injury and stunting of seedling corn roots (Figure 1). Most of the Western Corn Belt is experiencing a wetter-than-normal spring. NH3 applied to wet soils can cause sidewall compaction which can let the anhydrous ammonia move up the application channel into the seed zone. When this is done, you have the potential to have root burn like shown in the photo above. Corn plants that appear wilted and spindly (Figure 2) are a symptom of anhydrous injury to the roots.  


Growers who are using high-speed, low-draft applicators don’t have the option to place anhydrous ammonia 10” deep.  Research has shown that applying high rates of nitrogen with these systems can result in significant seedling burn if planting directly over the injection zone (Fernandez et al., 2011).  


Applying anhydrous ammonia well in advance of planting allows for the NH3 at the injection point to be converted to NH4+.  Five to seven days or longer is the standard recommendation between application and planting, but free ammonia will persist longer in cooler drier soils.  Reducing risk of injury involved separating the ammonia from the seed/seedling by either time or distance.



When spring seems later than usual, it is very tempting to sneak out into the field early and get your Nitrogen on. Please ensure the soil is dry enough and the applicator is applying 8-10” deep when you apply anhydrous ammonia. Keeping stress off these emerging seedlings will lead to higher yields in the fall. Waiting until field conditions are right will give your corn crop the best chance to succeed this year.


- Eric Solberg, Eastern Region Product Agronomist


Source: Fernández, F.G., D.B. Mengel, and J.E. Sawyer. 2011. Some things to consider for shallow placement of anhydrous ammonia. Proc. of the 2011 Wisconsin Crop Management Conference, Vol. 50

Categories: Corn, Eric Solberg, Management     Comments: 0     Tags: 2019 Planting, Anhydrous Ammonia, corn, Corn Seedling Injury, Eric Solberg, Management, NH3    

Spring Planting 2019: Watch-outs & Considerations

April 15, 2019

I don’t know about you, but spring planting season is probably the part of the job I enjoy the most. As we move from winter into spring and it starts to green up, getting out in the field again is always a great feeling.  So far, the spring of 2019 has brought below average temperatures for the majority of February and March. Mother Nature has just had a hard time coming out of winter, but it's looking like a warm up is on the horizon.  Here are some items to watch out & consider as you begin spring planting 2019:

Soil Temperature @ 50 Degrees: A good rule of thumb for when to start planting corn is when soils reach an average soil temperature of 50 or above every morning at 7:00 A.M. for a week.  When soils are cooler than 50typically emergence will be delayed for a few weeks. The longer the seed sits in cold soils, the more potential for exposure to pathogens, reducing the chance of germination.

Imbibitional chilling:  Imbibitional chilling occurs when seed is planted, begins to germinate and then the soil temperature drops below 50. This will typically happen if seeds are planted into soil above 50 and then we catch a cold rain, freezing rain or a snow storm that brings to soils temperature down.  Imbibitional chilling causes cells to rupture leading to corkscrewing of the mesocotyl. This can either delay emergence or possibly inhibit emergence if the coleoptile can’t get through the soil surface. Other symptoms of imbibitional chilling include aborted radicles, proliferation of seminal roots, delayed seedling growth and potential for disease pathogens to attack the young seedling.

Sidewall compaction:  Planting into fields that are too wet will typically cause sidewall compaction.  Even waiting an additional 24 to 48 hours can reduce the potential for sidewall compaction.  Remember we only get one chance to plant most fields so waiting for soils to dry out can make a big difference in a field’s yield potential.  

Planting season only comes once a year and there is nothing more important for setting ourselves up for maximum yields than getting a good even stand on all of our acres.  So, be patient- wait until soils are fit for planting, make sure soil temperatures are sufficient, and delay planting if the forecast calls for cool wet weather. These tips will help avoid early season problems in our fields and get your seed started off on the right track.

If you have any questions feel free to contact your local Hoegemeyer DSM or Agronomist.

-Craig Langemeier, Western Region Product Agronomist

Categories: corn, Craig Langemeier, Planting     Comments: 0     Tags: 2019 Planting, Blog, Corn, Craig Langemeier, Imbibitional Chill, Soil Temperature    

Pre-Season Planter Inspection to Reach Yield Goals

April 5, 2019

At the beginning of every growing season, we have hopes and goals in maximizing our yields.  We spend countless hours conducting soil tests, working on fertilizer application maps, talking to our seed dealers to place “THE RIGHT SEED” on the correct field and creating Variable Rate Seeding maps.  Even though all these things are very important, we still seem to forget about the most important piece of equipment we have in the shed; the planter.  In many instances, we only have one chance of planting a field correctly and if we don’t have the planter in tip-top condition we will miss out on achieving our goal.

There are many other things that we need to consider in achieving our yield goals.

  1. Proper fertility will support that plant all year long. 
  2. Planting timing is essential for proper emergence.  You want your corn plants to all emerge within 24-48 hours of each other to achieve a consistent ear size throughout the field. 
  3. You need to have a good seedbed to create a favorable zone for the seed to flourish.  A good seed environment will also help create a root zone conducive to good development, giving the roots the ability to take up nutrients.

All these field conditions work together in achieving that yield goal, but it’s important to inspect your planters prior to pulling them in the field, as well as when you are in the field.

You want to give your seed the best start, so we’ve created a handy checklist to guide you while the planting is still in the shed AND when it gets to the field.

Pre-Season Planter Checklist: In the Shed

  1. Seed Transmission
    1. Bearings
    2. Chains, sprockets and idlers
    3. Clutches
    4. Electric/Hydraulic motors
  2. Seed Meters
    1. Calibrate
    2. Air lines
    3. Seals
    4. Brushes
  3. Wheels and Tires
    1. Tire pressure
    2. Drive Wheel centered
  4. Fertilizer
    1. Prefer if not ran off of seed drives
    2. Hoses
    3. Pumps
    4. Calibrate
  5. Down Pressure
    1. Broke springs
    2. Ware points
    3. Air bags/Hydraulic lines
  6. Parallel Arms
    1. Make sure they are square
    2. Bushings
    3. Shape of the hole
  7. Row Unit Drives
    1. Make sure it matches up with meter drives
  8. Drive Chains
    1. Replace annually
    2. Sprockets and Idlers
    3. Drive cables
  1. Row Cleaners
    1. Bearings
  2. No-Till Coulters
    1. Cutting Edge
    2. ¼” higher than the disk openers
  3. Gauge Wheels
    1. Gauge wheel arms
    2. Rubber tire in good condition and touching disk opener
  4. Disc Openers
    1. Disc diameter 14.5”, except Case IH 13.5”
    2. Scrapers
    3. Contact point 2-2.25”, except for Kinze 3000 1-1.25” and Case IH just making contact
  5. Seed Tube
    1. Worn edges
  6. Seed Firmers
    1. Tension
  7. Closing Wheel
    1. Centered
    2. Staggered wheel setup
    3. Worn points

Pre-Season Planter Checklist: In the Field

  1. Planter Levelness
    1. Toolbar is level when in the ground
    2. Parallel linkage
  2. Dig a cross section
    1. Not with the row
    2. Check micro environment
    3. Uniform waterfront
  3. Planting depth
    1. 2-2.25”
    2. Check in EVERY field
  4. Misplaced Seeds
    1. Meter release
    2. Seed tube delivery
    3. Row unit bounce
    4. Physical seed movement
  5. Down Pressure
    1. Footprint must be present
    2. Give it the finger test
    3. Cross section
      1. No seam
      2. No air pockets
    4. Sidewall condition
  6. Row Cleaners
    1. Set to remove residue, clods and rocks
  7. Closing Wheels
    1. Close the trench
    2. Firm around the seed
    3. Drag chain
  8. Planting Speed
    1. 4.5-5.0 mph
    2. NOT 10 mph

Get that proper seed placement and spacing by doing a little work while the planter is still in the shed.  Use this checklist as a guideline to help prepare your planter.  Consult your planter manual or dealer for exact tolerances of your equipment.

-Stuart Carlson, Northern Region Product Agronomist

Comments: 0     Tags: Planting Tips    


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