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PFR Proven Success Strategies on Corn

Practical Farm Research

Published on Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Each year brings new data from our Practical Farm Research (PFR®) team. By looking at diverse products and practices across several locations, we have determined five success strategies for corn that we believe will provide farmers with the highest likelihood of success.


Optimum Corn Planting Date

Beck’s multi-year PFR data shows that early planting pays off. To ensure that you give your crop the best possible start, make sure to utilize practices like planting early with the appropriate seeding depth into optimal conditions. By planting early, you’re providing your crop with more opportunities to capture sunlight. In corn, planting early allows more carbohydrates to be produced and potentially stored for use during grain fill. This is one method to further optimize yield potential.



Closing Wheels in Corn Systems

Our PFR team has discovered that in most situations, any pair of spiked closing wheels are better than the standard two solid rubber closing wheels. This can be applied to most soil types, but PFR data indicates that your soil type and planting conditions ultimately dictate the best closing wheel for you.

Knowing which closing wheel works best for you will benefit you in the long run, as closing the seed trench and optimizing seed-to-soil contact is essential for uniform emergence. This practice can also lead to higher yields.



Starter on Both Sides of the Corn Row

According to our PFR data, using urea-ammonium nitrate (UAN) fertilizer to feed and build the roots on both sides of the plant results in a more stable anchor for the corn crop. Using this system increases your early-season nitrogen while also limiting salt loading near the seed. Spreading the nitrogen fertilizer on both sides of the row, instead of just one side of the row (in a 2x2 application), can reduce the amount of preferential root growth.



Sidedressing Nitrogen on Corn

When it comes to sidedress practices, our team has identified split applications of nitrogen (N) as a PFR Proven™ practice to increase yields. Utilizing split applications allows for in-season adjustments of N to account for rainfall, planting dates, and the environment. Even though split applications require more labor, they help mitigate the risk of NO3- losses via denitrification, leaching, and surface runoff while also improving yield and N use efficiency.



Fungicide Timing on Corn

Our PFR team has found that timely fungicide applications pay due to the plant health benefits it provides. It was found that later applications in corn can help control diseases that tend to move in after pollination and provide a higher ROI than earlier season fungicide applications.


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Author: Kate Roth

Categories: PFR

Tags: corn, PFR, proven farm research

Kate Roth

Kate Roth

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