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Maximize Seed Size with these 4 Management Practices

Categories: GROWING, CORN, SOYBEANS
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When it comes to corn yield, it’s not just the number of kernels around and down that count. Kernel size and weight also play a critical role, and will continue to as corn and soybean genetics progress.

Along with larger seed sizes comes taking extra time to weigh yield trials and side-by-side plots. This is because yield monitor error can increase as seed size and harvest moisture changes from one hybrid or variety to another. The picture above is an example of this. The center ear topped the trial when weighed, yet fell 20 bushels short according to the yield monitor.

While it’s important to maximize kernel or seed production per acre, keep in mind the contribution seed size and weight make to yield. Both are factors you can start influencing as soon as the seed is in the ground. Several standard and enhanced management practices are outlined below to help you increase seed size and weight for corn and soybeans alike:

Standard management practices:

  • Plant as soon as weather allows to minimize early fall grain fill.
  • Target seeding rates to avoid over- or under-populating.
  • Avoid early-season soil compaction to improve root development and seedling vigor.
  • Avoid potassium shortages during vegetative growth stages.
  • Avoid nitrogen, sulfur and phosphorus nutrient deficiencies during grain fill and reproductive stages.

Enhanced management practices:

  • Limit nematode damage with a seed treatment nematicide.
  • Limit soil-borne diseases early with new and improved seed treatment compounds.
  • Increase corn root mass and plant size with an early-season fungicide application from V4 to V7.
  • Protect leaf tissue and improve drought tolerance with an R1 fungicide application for corn and R3 for soybeans.

By identifying standard versus enhanced management techniques, you can maximize kernel size on your farm. Contact your Golden Harvest Seed Advisor with questions or for additional agronomic insights.

Photos are either the property of Syngenta or used under agreement.

Syngenta hereby disclaims liability for third-party websites.



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