The Mid-South corn crop is off to a great start, and Wayne Dulaney, north central Mississippi AgVenture yield specialist and agronomist with Dulaney Seed Company, has some tips for making sure it finishes well.
Dulaney said the excellent crop to this point is a result of “thorough attention to detail at planting, great seedbed conditions, excellent seed choices and placement. Now, protecting that potential is key to high yields.”
Dulaney noted that many AgVenture Mid-South growers have been actively involved in the Maximum Profit System, a systematic approach to growing a crop designed to dramatically increase yields, lower cost per bushel and improve profitability on every acre. “Those who have a solid grasp of the program are achieving those goals.”
This spring, growers with the best stands slowed down to monitor planters carefully, checked seed placement and soil-to-seed contact, etc. “Many growers have even used planting monitors,” Dulaney said. “That’s a shift from previous years for many across the region. It has paid off in even stands, fewer skips and a young, healthy plant stand.”
“Historically, we’ve not paid as much attention to planting speeds,” said AgVenture yield specialist Robert Turner. “I was in the tractor with a grower in Lee County, Ark., evaluating planting methods. Once the crop emerged, we walked that field together. Where we had flagged speed at 6 to 7 miles per hour, we counted skips, doubles and delayed emergers. Where we planted at 4 miles per hour, the stand was ‘storybook’ perfect. It was a great learning exercise and proof that patience pays off. The proof is in the stands these growers are achieving.”
Of course, there’s more to making a crop than seed selection and planting protocol. David Walker, AgVenture yield specialist in the southern Delta and central Mississippi noted, “Now the work begins to protect that stand at every turn. Our goal is to best allow each and every corn plant the nutrients and protection it needs to yield to its fullest potential. Growers are doing a great job of getting the fertilizer out. Leaf samples are helping us determine if that plant is short on any key nutrients.”
Wayne Dulaney added, “We’ve seen yield bumps as much as 15 bushels per acre with a two gallon rate of slow release nitrogen at early tassel.”
Dulaney Seed Company is now in its 19th year of serving Mid-South growers. The company has established the AgVenture brand seed products across the area by selecting seed products specifically adapted to the region’s soils and environment.