Put two great corn minds together and you come up with seven corn management concepts to help you boost yields in 2017.
University of Guelph professor Dr. David Hooker and Maizex agronomist Greg Stewart shared the results of their brainstorm with growers attending the recent Southwest Agricultural Conference, held at the University of Guelph’s Ridgetown campus.
Toping the list is a recommendation for growers to intensively manage their hybrids. In this interview, Hooker and Stewart discuss results of the Ontario Corn Committee’s intensive management trials over the past to years and the impact of pushing plant population and nitrogen rates as well as adding a fungicide application. Stewart says the extra inputs cost about 16 bushels of extra yield. Those inputs delivered a big payoff in 2015 when OCC intensive plots averaged an extra 22 bushels, but in dry 2016 growing conditions, that number slipped to 17 bushels. The key to successfully using this strategy is to identify the hybrids that really respond to extra inputs, says Stewart.
Other ideas include: creating even plant emergence and reducing plant-to-plant variability; increasing soil organic matter to improve water holding-capacity; assessing your nitrogen rate ; and, the impact of a fungicide application.