By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Product Manager, Seed Consultants, Inc.
Two aspects of stand establishment in corn often discussed by agronomists are emergence and seed spacing. “Picket fence” spacing in corn allows plants to grow efficiently while minimizing competition between them. More importantly to achieving high yields, however, is uniform emergence. Plants that are just one leaf collar behind (due to uneven emergence) significantly reduce yield. 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.”
Uniform emergence is critical to maximizing yield potential. To achieve uniform emergence, several factors must be taken into consideration.
Soil moisture at planting is an important part in ensuring uniform emergence. Seed should be planted into enough moisture to allow for germination.