The Corn Plant is Amazing Indeed

Rapid growth phase will be here before you know it.

Published on: May 20, 2013

If you're still struggling to get corn planted, this may seem out of whack. But if you've got corn planted already and it's up, you know it won't be long before it's off to the races.

If you're going to sidedress, it's not impossible that you may have to stop and sidedress corn that is up before you finish planting the last, wettest fields, or else send an employee to do it. You need to get the nitrogen on before the corn gets too tall.

And as Dave Nanda says, you don't want to be in corn so tall sidedressing that you're pruning roots excessively. It's those roots, if well established, that will suck up nutrients about the time corn reached the 7-leaf stage, with the growing point pout of the ground, that will supply all the water and nutrients plants need to push ahead, growing faster and faster through the V10 stage. It's the stage where some people say they can almost hear the corn grow, where others say they've measured plant height, and it literally grows overnight.

Miracle plant: One seed per ear produced all these kernels. Dave Nanda says its one of natures biggest accomplishments.
Miracle plant: One seed per ear produced all these kernels. Dave Nanda says it's one of nature's biggest accomplishments.

Nanda is a plant breeder and director of genetics and technology for Seed Consultants, Inc. He writes the Breeder's Journal in Indiana prairie Farmer.  His June article will talk about how the corn plant is truly amazing. And how can argue?

From one seed it can produce 600 to 1,000 kernels. That's a reproduction rate that's hard to match, if you consider the amount of starch and energy packed into teach kernel. And it will do it in a variety of weather conditions. Last year may have set the parameter of what it can and can't do. But even last year many fields produced a decent crop. Only fields whammied by heart, drought and low-moisture capacity soils gave in, some yielding hardly anything. That's extremely unusual.

Nanda believes corn holds the answer to feeding 9 billion people someday. Look for continued advancements in yield and more protection against the vagaries of the elements in the future.

Every decision that you make influences the size and scope for corn yields. From the corn hybrid you select to the seeding rate and row width you choose. Download our FREE report over Maximizing Your Corn Yield.