To dispel the NCGA population tale, Nielsen says, “While it is true that a fair number of those winners use exceptionally high seeding rates, it is also true that there is not much of a relationship between grain yield and harvest population among those NCGA Contest winners.”
Nielsen suggests two alternatives:
- Yield increases to a maximum, then decreases at seeding rates beyond the maximum. If you accepted (that) model, the optimum seeding rate mathematically predicted from the equation would be 39,000 plants per acre.
- Yields increase with increasing seeding rates to a point, then levels out at higher seeding rates. If you accepted (that) model, the optimum seeding rate predicted from the equation would be 32,000 plants per acre or 7,000 fewer plants per acre than the optimum rate calculated from the (first) model.
Nielsen feels that researchers such as himself have a responsibility to analyze and interpret yield response to various seeding rates, and says that the yield response of today’s hybrids to seeding rates are best described by the second scenario.
Subsequently, he recommends to Indiana corn growers they should have a seeding rate around 33 thousand seeds per acre, with a final population about 31 thousand plants per acre, except for those farmers with soil or growing conditions that severely limit yield potential. While your farm may not be like Indiana soils, they vary considerably throughout that state, just as much as soils vary from the eastern to the western Cornbelt.
In the western Cornbelt, corn specialist Roger Elmore at Iowa State University suggested last week that farmers concerned about the lack of soil moisture should consider a lower population than normal, because in field trials last year, the lesser populations performed better.
And as you are researching the optimum number, visit with your LG Seeds dealer for his or her thoughts.....
The corn seeding rate per acre and the resulting plant population may not be exactly the same for every farmer, farm, and field, and finding the optimum rate may take some experimentation. Yield does not increase as plant population and seeding rate increase, but may level off at some point. Other factors boosting the yield beyond the optimum seeding rate and plant population may be linked to fertility, lack of competition for moisture and nutrients, and plenty of optimum growing days.
Source: FarmGate blog