Most of us who grow corn are looking for ways to have more control over the yields we get. Throughout the years, we’ve all been making changes in our production programs and in the equipment, we use to produce a crop, in hopes of dramatically increasing yields and profits. I’ve found that changing varieties, row spacings, and plant populations have produced only mixed results. All of us growers need a more dependable way of getting consistently higher yields year in and year out and fortunately, we have it.
It’s called keeping “the kids” out of the field.
That’s right. The term kids, is something Steven and I started to call corn seedlings that don’t emerge the same time as all of the other plants in the field. They end up being 1 to 2 leaves behind the first ones to emerge. These “kids” never catch up. They’re not as healthy as the normal-sized plants, they’re less efficient users of fertilizer and they take more than their share of water in proportion to how much they produce. It’s like a runt pig that starts out smaller than the rest of the pigs in the litter at birth and continues to take up space and consume nutrients but never gets as big as the other pigs. Kids in the cornfield are just like runt pigs and you do not want them in your fields. Don’t let them use precious water and nutrient resources while not giving back top yields. The best part of the “kids” concept is that it’s easy to fix and it all happens when the crop is planted in the spring. One of the reasons we want to be at customers’ planters when they are planting is to help ensure optimum, even emergence which means fewer kids and more bushels per 1000 plants.
If you have questions, be sure to talk with me or Steven to find out how you can keep the “kids” out of your fields and take yields to new levels in 2022. Otherwise, we’ll see you at the planter.