Accurately assessing corn stands is one of the first crop scouting exercises Ohio corn growers should conduct on their fields. The 1/1000th acre method is commonly used to evaluate emerged corn seedlings. Count the number of seedlings in a length of row equal to 1/1000 of an acre based on row width (Table 1). Multiply the number of plants by 1,000 to get plants per acre. Repeat this at several locations throughout the field to determine an average.
I like to make a rope 17-feet 5-inches long and make a knot at both ends and drag it through the field making several counts along the way to get an accurate evaluation. Another method is to count 150 plants and measure the distance from start to finish with a measuring wheel. Divide the number of feet traveled into the appropriate factor in Table 1 to determine plant population. Because a longer row length is counted, the samples are more representative and fewer locations are required.