By Charles Walters and Esper K. Chandler
If you’re looking for a basic checklist to ensure you are maximizing your corn yields, here are some ideas. Build your own checklist using these tips:
During Early Start
Use good vigorous seed. Aid plants with a small amount of high-P pop-up fertilizer in the furrow with a balance of all nutrients and plant growth stimulators (hormones) such as 1-2 oz. of PGR-IV or equivalent (such as enzymes, microbes, energy and humic acid 1-2 pts./ac.).
At Early Growth
Physiologically, the number of rows of grain are fixed during the embryo stage before the plant has 7 leaves (12 inches tall). Prior to this at the three to four leaf stage, analyze for nutrients in the whole plants. Applying corrective foliar application of nutrients, hormones, enzymes, humic acid and other plant growth aids can help plants overcome weather and other field stresses to optimize genetic yield potentials.
At Boot Stage
Analyze the nutrients in the youngest mature leaf. Just prior to pollination apply plant growth stimulators (hormones) plus needed foliar nutrients (especially zinc and other growth enhancers), which can stimulate roots and the entire plant functions to boost yields.
Analyze the nutrients in the ear leaf. When silks first turn brown and the grain is filling, supplemental nutrients, especially readily available N (and other aids) in foliar or irrigation application, may greatly increase yields by filling all the grains on the ear.
Any one of these or a combination of all has been shown to increase profits!
Source: Ask the Plant