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Setting a Target Plant Stand

~ This week’s blog is brought to you by Dwight Willoughby, P Ag, CCSC.

Okay, so we’ve applied our fertilizer, completed the fall field work and booked our 2016 seed.  Feels good right?  But wait! You’re not finished yet!  We can’t control weather, but there are key controllables to optimizing plant stands in corn. Why is this important?  Consider this; each ear contributes approximately 5.5 bushels/acre.  In this example below we took five random ears in a 27.5 foot row which represents 1/1000 of an acre.   Knowing the target plant stand in the spring and measuring the final plant stand in at harvest shows why it’s important to check plant population at harvest to realize what is controllable.

Sample Ear Rows Around Row Length

 

1 16 31
2 16 34
3 16 35
4 14 26
5 16 32
Average 15.6 31.6

 

 

Yield = (rows around x row length x ears/acre) / 90

Yield = (15.6 x 31.6 x 27*) / 90

Yield = 147.9 bu/acre  Approx 5.5 bu/ac

Below is a planting chart showing economic yield loss from reduced plant stands.  Not all varieties respond exactly the same to plant density.

 

Variety Population Harvestable

Ears

Yield Moisture + Seed

Cost $ / acre

Net Returns
P7202AM 32,000 29,000 151 18% $0  
P7202AM 35,600 30,300 160 18% +$11.23 +$31.52
P7202AM 37,000 36,000 149 18% +$15.60 -$25.10
P7005AM 32,000 32,000 139 19% $0  
P7005AM 35,600 35,300 144 18% +$9.46 +$14.29
P7005AM 37,000 35,300 132 16.5% +$13.15 -$46.40
P7332R 29,900 30,000 173 19% -$6.05 +$6.05
P7332R 32,000 31,000 173 19% $0  
P7332R 35,600 34,000 179 19% +$10.37 +$18.13
P7332R 37,700 36,000 186 19% +$16.42 +$45.33

*Data provided by Pioneer Hi-Bred Ltd.

As always, we are here to help you maximize your yields and get you the best return for your operation.  Our goal has been and will continue to be placing the right product on the right acre.

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