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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Conservation Systems Research for Improving Evnironmental Quality and Producer Profitability

Location: Soil Dynamics Research

Title: Do plant population and planting date make a difference in corn production?

item Ortiz, Brenda
item Duzy, Leah
item Damianidis, Damianos

Submitted to: Agricultural Experiment Station Publication
Publication Type: Experiment Station
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/14/2013
Publication Date: 2/14/2013
Citation: Ortiz, B.V., Duzy, L.M., Damianidis, D. 2013. Do plant population and planting date make a difference in corn production?. Agricultural Experiment Station Publication.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: One management practice that can positively or negatively impact corn yield is plant population. Yield potential can also be influenced by the date of planting, which is strongly linked to the at-planting and in-season weather and climatic conditions. Even when considering management changes, we need to keep in mind that the optimum plant population will not only vary between regions of the state, but from season to season, and field to field on the same farm. A study was conducted in 2011 and 2012 at the Gulf Coast Research Center (GCRS) in Fairhope, AL. The main goal of the study was to evaluate the impact of plant population on yield and the impact of the interaction between plant population and planting date (environment) on grain yield under non-irrigated conditions. The experiment consisted of four different plant populations of 18000, 22000, 26000, and 30000 seeds per acre planted at two different times during the growing season: mid-march (standard date by farmers in the area) and three weeks later. The overall results from this two year experiment show that the yield potential of corn grown under multiple plant populations, seeded at two different dates, can vary depending on the weather and climate conditions in Fairhope, AL. Yield and profitability data shows that, under dry conditions, the use of low plant populations, especially 22000 seeds per acre, may be a good option if planted around the second week of April. In comparison, if normal precipitation is expected, an increase in plant population will result in higher returns over direct expenses.

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
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