Soybean and corn plants are complex plants with specific needs based on the variety or hybrid. However, no matter what crop, variety, or hybrid you are planting, there are five guaranteed tactics you can use to take your plants to a new yield level.
1. Seed Selection
Every field has different requirements for ensuring your seed reaches its potential. Seed selection is key to guaranteeing success in your field. There are many things to consider, such as maturity based on your standard weather patterns, disease tolerance based on your field’s history, and soil type. Sourcing the variety or hybrid that covers all the bases is crucial to maximizing yield.
2. Seed Bed Preparation
Proper seed bed preparation will give your seed the best start by controlling moisture and removing obstacles allowing the seed to germinate and emerge consistently. A prepared seed bed should be sooth, weed free, and uniform. When all plants emerge and grow at the same rate, they are easier to manage and will give you a better chance of higher yields, come harvest.
3. Planting Date
Planting date is crucial to the success of your crop. There are a few factors to consider when planning your planting date, assuming the weather is perfect, one of the most important being the maturity of your seed and the weather history of your location. If you know you generally get frost by late October, make sure your seed has enough time to reach its maturity before that time. The state of your soil is also something important to consider. For planting soybeans, ensure your soil is between 54 and 55 degrees F before planting, and for corn, ensure your soil is 50 degrees F before planting. Also, look at the forecast for the following three to five days to ensure that the weather won’t lower that temperature.
4. Planting Depth
Ensuring your seed is planted at the right depth is another factor in allowing for even establishment. Seed depth will determine root formation allowing for proper water and nutrient uptake, which will give your plants the best chance for a healthy emergence and a strong stand. If a seed is planted too shallow, it might not reach the moisture and nutrients that it needs, and if it is planted too deep, it might require too much energy to reach the surface. Throughout planting, continue to check your planting depth, as it may change throughout the process.
When planting your seed, it’s always important to ensure that your planter isn’t missing seeds and that they are being planted evenly. If a seed is missed, you lose a chance for yield. If a double is planted, those seeds compete against each other and are less productive. Put some time into maintaining your planting equipment before the spring to ensure proper spacing and to enhance yield.