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Building a foundation to genetic potential

(CIFN file photo)

CHATSWORTH – After finding ways to address modern yield limitations in corn, where do we go from here?

“Fertility will certainly become of higher importance as we move along,” explains Chris Kamienski, an agronomist for Channel Seed.

Corn yields have greatly increased over time. To deal with weeds in the 1990s, Roundup Ready crops helped unlock genetic potential and Bt crops provided rootworm control in the 2000s. By the time 2010 came along, growers dealt with disease by utilizing fungicide products.

Kamienski believes soil is a very important factor in raising good crops. This is why producers need to do their best when interacting with that soil. Even emergence is one of the most important goals to achieve each spring.

“Good seed to soil contact is vital,” Kamienski said. “We want things as uniform and even as possible.”

We can get there with technology, according to Kamienski. He believes corn should be planted at 2 or 2.5 inches.

“I walked a lot of fields because they were planted too shallow.”

Unless forecasters can accurately predict the weather for July and August, no one can say when the best time to plant is. The best time for planting is actually when soil conditions allow for even germination. Cool temperatures during grain fill last year helped many growers achieve high yields. That period was followed by a warm weather spell which helped to dry the plants down.

Kamienski notes late corn did not necessarily take a yield hit last fall as most of that corn had no disadvantage. Historically, early April is the best time to start thinking about planting corn, but farmers need to remember to do the small things right such as tillage, drainage and optimizing planter performance.

Kamienski was a presenter at the recent Nu-Ag Technology open house and product training event held in Chatsworth.

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