Corn Population; Your FREE Farming Practice that makes Bushels

Apr 27, 2022

Corn Population; Your FREE Farming Practice that makes Bushels
    Corn population is an important decision to make before planting season. In fact, according to answer plot data this decision can have up to a 20-bushel impact depending on hybrid, but this decision can be quite complicated. Every hybrid that Belgrade Co-op sells has a Response to Population (RTP) score. This score should be used to determine whether or not it has the ability to produce more ROI at higher populations, or if it has a large flex ear and is best suited at lower populations. Some other factors go into this decision as well regarding management style; does the field have plenty of fertilizer? The field itself makes a difference as well, if it is a field that is prone to drought, pushing population is probably not a good idea to begin with. So many factors go into this decision, with that being said you should be having a detailed conversation with your agronomist about this topic. Remember, population is a HYBRID and FIELD SPECIFIC conversation. Do not be afraid to change populations throughout the planting season to accommodate new hybrids and fields.
    On top of that, variable rate population within a field should begin to enter the conversation. Because every field is so different, having the ability to push a hybrid on one part of the field, and back that hybrid off on another part of the field can help the best parts of your fields meet their full potential, but remain conservative on other parts. We have the ability to use yield maps to create these scripts which is ideal, but if you do not have this capability, we can use imagery and soil types in other cases. Adjusting your population is a FREE way to create more bushels for your farm. Start taking your population seriously on the farm to really maximize the benefit of having population specific data for each hybrid.
    Utilize the chart on the back to determine how your hybrids react to population. Also included in this chart are a potential planting order score. A #1 means it should be planted first as it has exceptional vigor and emergence. A #3 means it may be a little slow out of the ground and should be the last in the ground. If you don’t see your hybrid in this chart, reach out to your agronomist.
Jackson Gregory
Belgrade Cooperative Agronomist
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