Canadians share their advice about getting good corn yields

Getting good yields, Canadian corn growers, along with agronomists, shared good advice with me on my recent visit. While we talk about some of these recommendations in Iowa, a preseason review is helpful whether you farm in Canada or Iowa.

Manage your soil fertility; carefully select the timing, rate and form of N that works best for your operation. Maintain P and K in the optimum ranges and watch your removal rates.

Manage soil structure, compaction, and internal and surface drainage.

Work with your seed suppliers to choose the right genetics and traits for each of your fields.

Match plant populations to hybrids and conditions; in most cases, keep the seeding rate on the higher end of the recommended range.

Use residual herbicides to both maximize yield and manage weed resistance.

Planter maintenance, operation and seed zone management are critical. Ensure that planter units and their attachments are contributing to consistent seeding depth, residue management, seed-to-soil contact and, ultimately, uniform emergence. This contributes to good early-season seminal root growth, and later in the season, we are set up for strong nodal root development.

Scout, scout and scout some more. Not only can we find and address problems for the crop we are scouting, but also occasionally we can identify areas of improvement for the next season.

Manage pests. Insects, diseases, weeds, nematodes — you name it, and we may find it. Be ready to take the proper, timely action to address and solve the problem.

— Clarke McGrath

This article published in the April, 2012 edition of WALLACES FARMER.

All rights reserved. Copyright Farm Progress Cos. 2012.