Early Season Crop Growth

May 10, 2021

As we work into the second week of May we are seeing rows of corn coming out of the ground. Even with the corn soil temperatures during planting season this year I have been very impressed on how quick and even the corn has come out of the ground. In my opinion this is as good of stand as we have seen in the last few years. Even the earliest plantings only took 15-16 days to emerge, and I predicted it was going to be three weeks. Needless to say, I was happy with that outcome. The subsequent corn planted during warm conditions only took about the normal 10 days to emerge. A good even stand is arguably the most important for maximizing all yield potential out in the field.

The goal is for all corn plants to emerge with 24-48 ours of each other. Anything later than that has an extremely reduced yield potential and these late emerged corn plants generally result in smaller ears with less kernels. If we have multiple days in between plant emergence and some plants result in 2 leaf stages or more behind, these plants are considered “weeds” and are not contributing to yield. Maximizing our early season emergence, especially this year, will pay off come October.

Now as we go through the growing season what is next? At SFG we have been talking all year that we do not want to plant it and forget it. Our next steps we take are to scout and monitor each field to see where we can maximize and push yields even further. The next things to look at will be insect pressures, weed management and in season nitrogen options. In the next couple weeks, all these in season management practices will need to be addressed so reach out to SFG and learn about what you should be looking for in your field during this next month. SFG uses the newest technologies and can help find those extra bushels for 2021. Good luck with wrapping up the last few weeks of planting season and as always never be afraid to reach out for some helpful insights from Smith Fertilizer and Grain.