Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Corn Planting Date Concerns for 2017

The recent cool, wet weather has some farmers concerned about corn planting. We are currently in the optimum range for the corn planting date response. Soon we will be on the downhill side of this response where grain yield decreases AND grain moisture increases. However, there can be quite a bit of variability associated with this response.

Figure 1 shows the corn planting date response at Arlington during the 2010s. During this time, the average planting date that produces maximum corn grain yield is May 4 (the range has been May 1-7). Farmers can still be within 95% of the maximum yield between April 18 and May 20. The narrowest planting date "window" where you could still achieve 95% of the maximum yield was during 2014 between April 25 and May 19 (24 days). The widest window was during 2011 between April 11 and May 21 (40 days).

Figure 1. Grain yield response to planting date for full-season corn hybrids at Arlington from 2010 to 2016.

We planted our first planting date at Arlington on April 17. We planted the hybrid grain and silage trials at Montfort on April 24, Janesville on April 25 and Hancock on April 28. Some university agronomists have written about the potential for imbibitional chilling (see IA and NE) during this growing season. At Janesville and Hancock corn was planted just prior to and during the recent cool, wet weather conditions. We will see how well these trials emerge. They will also be a good test for measuring seed quality differences among hybrids and companies.

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