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Documenting the relationship between corn emergence and yield

One very important aspect of corn plant development and yield is emergence. While evenly spaced “picket fence” stands are often discussed, agronomists and university experts stress the more important aspect of emergence-uniform emergence. According to Paul Jasa, University of Nebraska Extension ag engineer, “When a plant develops ahead of its neighbor, it hurts yield dramatically. It’s going to vary somewhat from year to year, but a plant lagging behind those around it becomes a weed.”

In order to achieve high yields, uniform emergence is essential.

As part of Seed Consultants testing in 2016, our agronomic team has planted a test plot in Fayette County that will be observed twice daily (morning and evening) during the emergence process. This study will observe 1/1000 acre sections of rows for 5 different hybrids. Approximately every 12 hours an agronomist will walk through the plot and place garden stakes next to plants as they emerge (as pictured above). Agronomists will document every plant’s emergence timing and then make additional observations throughout the growing season, ending with an assessment of yields and timing of emergence. The goal of this observational study is to demonstrate the importance of emergence and the detrimental effects on yield due to late emerging plants.

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