Southwest Iowa Crop Insights March 2016

Corn Planting Tips
With corn planting season now in focus and declining commodity prices on our minds accuracy, precision, and optimism drive our daily routine.  Things farmers need to consider when planting corn for 2016 are date, depth, maturity, spacing, soil and accuracy.  This list is the foundation for the formula for maximizing corn yield. 
Central and Northwest Iowa April 15th through May 18th is optimum for 95% maximum corn yield.
Southern Iowa April 11th through May 13th is optimum for 95% Maximum corn yield.
While most agree planting early is often times our best corn this is no substitute for proper soil conditions.  When planting the first field of corn farmers need to continue to monitor soil conditions and planter performance.  I often get calls after the fact showing shallow planting, sidewall compaction and poor emergence.  Often times these symptoms are a result of wet soil conditions. 
Iowa State University is currently conducting research concerning corn planting date and maturity group research across the state.  While this research is only a few years old we are seeing some trends relating to the location of the state where hybrid maturity and planting date relate to yield.  Dr. Mark Licht is conducting these trials.   These trails are looking at four planting dates ranging from April to early July and three maturity groups of hybrids.  While the research project is not complete, the trend has been to utilize common adapted hybrids when planting later than usual due to weather conditions.   Southwest Iowa has experienced planting delays the last two seasons beyond May 13th for some farmers, yet we have adapted and had good yields despite the delay in some cases. Cool temperatures and adequate rainfall during pollination in Southwest Iowa are ingredients for good corn yields.

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