March 15, 2019
- Recommended seeding rates of new DEKALB® brand corn products may be affected by the ability to “flex” depending on growing conditions.
- Flex-ear corn products have the ability to adjust ear size depending on growing conditions and to yield well at lower populations, but yields generally plateau at higher populations, whereas fixed-ear products generally show increased yield as seeding rate increases.
- An understanding of a product’s ability to flex is important when setting the ideal agronomic population and is useful when making replant decisions on tough stands.
- The objective of this trial was to evaluate four DEKALB® brand corn products for their response to seeding rate to provide guidance to growers about how flex should be considered when planting DEKALB® brand corn products.
Research Site Details
- Seeding rates ranged from 10,000 to 45,000 seeds/acre, planted in increments of 5,000 seeds/acre.
- All agronomic practices were per local standards.
- 240 lb/acre of actual nitrogen was applied.
- Plots were approximately 0.1 acres each or 4 rows by 200 feet long.
- Because it is difficult to quantitatively measure fixed and flex characteristics, yield was used as a general means to evaluate these traits.
- All data were collected and corrected to 15.5% moisture.
Understanding the Results
- Final populations averaged 80% of stand targets.
- This is lower than expected due to the harsh early-season conditions in 2018.
What Does This Mean for Your Farm?
- Understanding the flex characteristics of a corn product provides insight into how it will respond to different seeding rates and to stress during the growing season.
- Standability for each product should be carefully weighed against potential yield responses and seed cost before making the decision to increase seeding rate.
- Growers should discuss with their DEKALB® brand seed representative how a corn product of interest performs under different growing conditions and management practices.