Planting season has started in the Southern Hoegemeyer footprint and planters will be rolling across the Midwest soon. Let’s review proper plant seeding depth for corn. There are a few inputs such as foliar fungicides and insecticides which we still have at our disposal if the situation warrants. But for the most part we are at the mercy of Mother Nature in terms of temperature, rainfall and sunlight intensity which are key factors for yield. Prior to that however, there are several things that are very much in our control. Rapid establishment of a uniform crop is of utmost importance if you want to even have a shot at approaching full yield potential at the end of the year.
How deep should I plant corn?
Corn seed to be planted between 1.75 and 3 inches.
Does planting date influence how deep I should plant?
Although some people believe that early planting should be planted shallower so the seed gets in warmer soil this is not true. Even your earliest planted fields should be dropped at the same 1.75 to 3 inch planting depth. The only time we would plant deeper would be if we needed to find moisture to get the seed to germinate, but never shallower.
What are some of the detrimental effects of shallow planting?
As simple as it may sound, shallow planting depth with corn can lead to many significant problems. When seed is planted too shallow, fewer root nodes are able to establish beneath the soil which leads to a restricted and overall lesser root mass. Plants may emerge uneven; lodge later in the year; be more prone to nutrient deficiency symptoms early in the year; have reduced water uptake under drought; and be more prone to rootless corn syndrome if soils are dry early in the year. Anything less than 1.75 inches is typically not ideal for most soils.
How can I make sure I’m getting proper planting depth?
Make sure you get your planter out in the field a few days ahead of when you want to start planting. You will have time to make some last-minute tweaks to ensure the planter in properly set before getting into the field for the season. Also make sure to check the planter every few hours and especially when changing fields with varying soil types.
Any portion of yield potential lost early in the season is gone for good with little chance of recovery in full no matter how favorable the growing season is later in the year. Getting planting right is one of the most important things we can manage.
If you have questions, contact your local Hoegemeyer agronomist, district sales manager or dealer.
A successful 2018 harvest begins with proper hybrid selection and planting in the spring. Several factors impact how hybrids will live up to high-yield expectations and no two fields are the same. Your experience coupled with Hoegemeyer’s product placement recommendations will help you place the right seed in the right field.
How to ensure optimum hybrid placement:
Soil-type dynamics: Your soil tells a story and selecting the right hybrid for your soil profile is critical. Whether you are farming sandy soils with less than 1% organic matter or soils with high pH issues we can help you decide what products will not just survive, but produce above trend line yields on those acres.
The past five years we have ramped up our high pH and sand testing program, and gathered replicated trial test results to help you make more informed decisions about what hybrid to select for these challenging environments. We have found Hoegemeyer 7088 AM™ Family, 7606 AM™ Family, 7946 Family, 8326 AM™ Family, and 8414 AM™ Family products have been out yielding the competition on these challenging (both sand and high pH) acres.
Trait mix: Hoegemeyer is committed to offering a complete line-up of corn hybrids that have both options across several different trait platforms as well as genetically unrelated products to help you diversify your product portfolio. We provide you with traits you need whether that be a conventional product for the specialty market; Roundup only refuge products; a double stack product for those rotated acres; or a triple stack for corn on corn.
Having different trait packages and genetic diversity on a farm are a great way to help mitigate risk depending on the weather, insect pressure and differences from one growing season to the next.
Planting population: Every hybrid handles planting populations differently. Hoegemeyer conducts extensive research on hybrid response to various planting populations. Some hybrids will excel at low planting populations, while others will need high planting populations to maximize yield. We publish population recommendation sheets that base plant populations on yield goals. Based on the hybrids you plant, you can use this guide to advise you on how many seeds need to be planted per acre to maximize yield.
Environmental stress: Hoegemeyer has several products with excellent drought tolerance. Over the past several growing seasons I would be willing to bet many of you have used an Optimum® AQUAmax® product. We have been fortunate in the Western Corn Belt with rain the past few growing seasons but as they say “we are only a week away from the next drought.” These products will yield in times of drought and when moisture in plentiful.
Goss’s wilt tolerance is another key factor for product selection. Just because we haven’t seen it widely the past few years doesn’t mean with the right weather pattern it isn’t there ready to attack. If Goss’s wilt has been an issue in the past make sure to plant a tolerant product to reduce yield loss from this bacterial pathogen again.
Harvest timing and maturity mix: If you’re farming several quarters and you plant all 112 day corn hybrids, all hybrids may pollinate, need a fungicide and be ready for harvest on the same day. By planting a mix of genetics and maturities we can help mitigate these risks. We have products that flower at different times, different levels of disease tolerance and products that will stand long into the fall. Make sure you are planting a good mix of genetics, maturities and traits to mitigate risk on your farm.
End use: Another important part of hybrid selection should be based on what is the end use of the product being planted. Hoegemeyer has data that will showcase which hybrids work best for either beef or dairy silage. We have several good options across a range of maturities that will work for both grain as well as silage.
These key placement tips are good reminders as you develop and finalize your 2018 planting plan.For more information about product placement, contact your Hoegemeyer seed representative or refer to your seed guide for optimum ratings and recommendations.
Several years ago our agronomy team identified four qualities that we felt set our corn lineup apart from the competition: drought and Goss’s Wilt tolerance, more harvestable yield and genetic diversity. The 2017 growing season brought significant challenges to some areas, while customers in other areas had record yields.
We did not let this season go to waste for evaluating new products and making improvements for future years. We revisited these four points of differentiation to assess how our lineup performed.
Dry conditions plagued the northern plains early in the 2017 growing season, but timely rains alleviated the drought somewhat as the season progressed. Southeast Nebraska and northeast Kansas started the season with good moisture with drought impacting yields during pollination and grain fill. With different droughts in different areas of the western corn belt, we had a good chance to evaluate drought performance across much of our lineup. Below is a high level summary of how our hybrids ranked in drought environments.
A high-level look at the relative performance of our products specifically in drought environments below 150 bushels per acre from 2015-17.
It's noted that corn products rated 8 or 9 for drought continue to rise to the top, with still some good product performance with 7’s. While I think that farmers with drought-prone fields should plant the majority of their acres to 8’s and 9’s, planting a product rated a 7 for drought on some acres can open up some other good product options and increase genetic diversity on the farm.
Goss’s Wilt Tolerance
We haven’t seen a widespread outbreak of Goss’s Wilt since 2011. A lack of natural Goss’s Wilt pressure is good for farmers but makes it more challenging for seed companies to screen new hybrids for Goss’s Wilt tolerance. Fortunately our products are tested in special trials that are inoculated with Goss’s Wilt. From what I’ve seen from these trials, we have strong overall Goss’s Wilt tolerance in our newer products. Hoegemeyer 8414 AM stands out with a 7 score, and many of our new products carry a 6 rating, which makes them suited for Goss’s Wilt-prone fields.
More Harvestable Yield
More harvestable yield means that our products need to be able to stand and hold onto their ears until harvested. Multiple late October wind events impacted growers in Nebraska and surrounding areas in 2017. For more information on the factors that may have caused late season harvest issues, read UNL’s Cropwatch update.
Products from all seed companies were impacted by the winds but not all hybrids were affected the same. In our lineup, we had products that stood quite well against the wind, but some of the higher yielding racehorse products seemed to be the most prone to lodging and ear drop. We are taking all of this into account as we make product recommendations for 2018. Going forward, we know that growers will not be satisfied if we abandon high-yielding products for the sake of bullet-proof agronomics. Selecting products will remain a balance between top-end yield potential and agronomics, but we are committed to providing more products that strike the right balance.
2017 was an example of how genetic diversity mitigated risk from unpredictable weather events. When a weather event “picks on” one specific style of hybrid, a farmer can usually handle some problems on a percentage of acres, but not the entire farm. Several of our race horse products that were introduced in the 2014-2015 time period share a common parent, and these were among the hardest hit in our lineup by the 2017 winds.
We have several new products for 2018 that are bringing racehorse type yields with different parental backgrounds. 2018, 2019 and 2020 will usher in a lot of new genetic options across our entire lineup. Also, with full regulatory approval of Qrome™ brand products expected soon, genetic diversity will get a boost in our triple stack lineup.
The Midwest has experienced some stretches of below-normal temperatures, with cold, rainy conditions this spring. Research shows that the opportune time to plant corn is somewhere between the last two weeks of April and the first few days of May. However, Mother Nature isn’t necessarily on that same schedule. Fields that have been recently planted or those that will be planted in the next couple days may be subject to seedling injury.
SIGNS OF INJURY
Corn that has been recently planted in the Midwest has experienced less-than-ideal overall conditions, especially when it comes to temperature. In many locations, the weather pattern of cold rain and low temperatures has potential to promote a problem for young seedlings called “Imbibitional Chilling Injury.” Some basic visual symptoms may be corkscrewing of the young germinating plant or leafing out below ground level. Consider digging up a few seedlings and checking them for signs of corkscrewing, leafing out underground or damping off.
WHY WOULD SEEDLINGS REACT LIKE THIS?
A possible issue that cause less than optimum stands and poor emergence is chilling injury to the mesocotyl or coleoptile plant tissue caused by sub-lethal cold temperatures (less than 50 degrees) during the period very soon after planting when seeds begin to imbibe water. The seed will not begin to germinate until the soil temp approaches 50 degrees, however, the seed will allow water to enter regardless of temperature. This chilling injury basically equates to cells rupturing which results in the corkscrewing of the mesocotyl. This delays the emergence of the coleoptile prior to the usual emergence of leaves from the coleoptile.
In addition to slowing the germination process, cold temperatures, snow and cold rains may cause irreparable harm to the delicate structures of an emerging corn seedling. When dry corn seed absorbs cold water, Imbibitional Chilling Injury is not uncommon. Such injury in corn seeds ruptures cell membranes and results in aborted radicles, proliferation of seminal roots, delayed seedling growth and potential for diseases pathogens to attack the young seedling. When temperatures remain at or below 50 degrees Fahrenheit after planting or fall below 50 degrees within 24-48 after planting, damage to germinating seed can be particularly severe as they imbibe water. This should be considered as there is risk associated with the temperature and moisture roller coaster we have experienced so far this planting season.
If you have any questions, contact your local Hoegemeyer agronomist or District Sales Manager.
, Frost Injury
2017 Planting, chilling injury
Increase the performance and profitability potential for your fields with these Hoegemeyer planting population recommendations. Our recommendations are powered by years of local testing data.
The testing – multiple testing variables for a better understanding of product performance
Hoegemeyer continues our extensive work on corn population studies. We test our current line-up along with new experimental hybrids coming down the pipeline. At each location, we plant four rows, 20 ft plots at five populations (18k, 26K, 34K, 42K, 50K) and we replicate this process three times. We will take stand counts and harvest the middle two rows come harvest time. This provides us information to help understand how these hybrids perform at different yield environments.
Each location will then be categorized into one of four different Yield Environments:
Very High equals >240 Bu/A
High equals 180-240 Bu/A
Medium equals 120-180 Bu/A
Low equals <120 Bu/A
The results – ideal plant population recommendations for your unique acres
As a result, we create these population charts for each hybrid in our line-up to help educate farmers about the ideal population for their yield environment. Use these recommendations and work with your local Hoegemeyer dealer to maximize the potential of your seed.
The team – in-house agronomy research to provide local solutions
At Hoegemeyer, we are proud of the in-house agronomy research that we provide to farmers to help educate their farming decisions. It’s just one more step in offering top-quality products coupled with expert advice that provide you that Western Corn Belt Performance you deserve on your acres.