Authors: Lindsey Novak, Joel Ransom
Information from actual farm fields can help corn producers understand the value and importance of establishing uniform crop emergence and within-row plant spacing. Thirty-eight fields planted with corn (Zea mays L.) by North Dakota producers were evaluated to determine the effects of uneven plant emergence timing and within-row plant space variability, as well as identifying contributing factors. Rows within a planter’s width with the most variability yielded 6% less than the least variable rows. Individual ear weights decreased as the number of days after normal emergence (date when 50% of plant stand emerged) increased. Ears next to within-row gaps (>30.5 cm) weighed 11% more than the normally spaced plants. Combined ears from both plants situated <5.1 cm apart weighed 36% more than from a single ear from normally spaced plants. Surface residue and planting speed impacted stand establishment variability more often than other factors measured. Producers should assess each field environment individually in order to identify best practices to achieve uniform stand establishment.
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