Extension News

Corn Plant Populations and Row Spacing Focus of Extension Field Day Near Sac City

7/17/2009

SAC CITY, Iowa – Corn plant populations and row spacing will be the focus of a field day sponsored by Iowa State University Extension in Sac County on Aug. 20, from 9-11 a.m.

“This field day will discuss current and projected plant populations as well as look at the reasons for a movement toward 20-inch row spacing,” said Mark Licht, ISU Extension field agronomist who is organizing the field day.

“Additionally, there will be an opportunity to discuss equipment considerations when moving to narrow row corn,” Licht said.

Dale Drey, a local farmer, will host the event on one of his fields located on Quincy Avenue northwest of Sac City. The farm is located 1.75 miles north of Highway 20.

The field day will feature talks by ISU specialists. Roger Elmore, ISU Extension corn specialist, will talk on ideal plant populations and the theory behind moving to narrow row corn.

“There is a push to reach 300 bushels per acre by 2030,” Elmore said. “The main driver is that the hybrids we have now are better able to withstand their neighbors. They don’t need as much personal space. Before, corn plants couldn’t handle crowding so well. They didn’t yield well, they could go barren. With modern hybrids, narrow row spacing is one tool, along with better disease and pest management.”

Mark Hanna, ISU Extension agricultural engineer, will discuss planter adjustments for optimal seeding. “I will be talking about seed placement and adjusting the opener, depth wheels, closing system and other parts of the planter to maximize potential for a faster, more uniform emergence.”

The field day is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served starting at 8:45 a.m. For more information, contact Mark Licht at (712) 792-2364 or by e-mail at lichtma@iastate.edu.

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Contacts :

Mark Licht, field agronomist, (712) 792-2364, lichtma@iastate.edu

Tamsyn Jones, ISU Corn and Soybean Initiative, (515) 294-7192, tamsyn@iastate.edu

Willy Klein, Extension Communications and External Relations, (515) 294-0662, wklein@iastate.edu