A good corn crop starts with a good stand
Attention to detail before and after you get to the field pays in the long run. Better stands lead to better yields. Planter performance, planting depth and soil conditions are three key factors that contribute to a good corn stand.
April 3, 2012 - Author: Marilyn L. Thelen, Michigan State University Extension
Now is the time to put the finishing touches on corn planter maintenance and repair. Taking the time to service and repair planter units will improve performance and limit downtime. Test planter performance before planting to see that all units are operating correctly.
Field corn planting depth varies by soil type and planting conditions. Typically 1.5 to 2 inches is recommended. Earlier planted corn can be planted more shallow, but not less than 1.5 inches. Corn planted in sandy soils may be planted as deep as 3 inches. Sandy soil typically will not crust and deeper placement may be necessary to place seeds in uniform soil moisture. Check placement while you are planting and adjust for conditions. Look for seeds to be placed in the bottom of the planting “V” in loose, moist soil. Planting in uniform moisture at the appropriate depth for conditions will lead to more uniform emergence.
Avoid compaction by planting into soil conditions that are dry enough to prevent sidewall compaction and allow for good seed coverage. A shiny appearance to the sidewall of the planting “V” and difficulty closing the trench both contribute to uneven emergence. In addition, sidewall compaction will inhibit good root development.
Investing in good seed placement and planting in optimal soil conditions will give the seed a better chance of germination as well as fast and uniform emergence.