SPECIAL REPORT: hat can you expect now, and the years ahead, in j ? m P roduction? Thousands of fanners who attended one of the more than 50 midwest Corn-Soybean Clinics during the past couple of months heard some of the answers. Spokesmen for DeKalb Agricultural Association, Inc., speaking at the meetings, offered some food for thought along this line. They said that in the 70"s we may be planting corn up to 30,000 plants per acre — "? fact, some fanners are already looking at this pos- sibitity. To go along with this, we will up our fertilizer rates, use more chemical weed controls, probably plant in nanower rows and have hybrids that are resistant to disease and insects. In fact, they felt encouraged by the progress scientists have made in breeding resistance to the much talked about stunt disease. "As far as DeKalb is concerned," the seed specialists commented, "the XL varieties are showing tremendous gains, as are 4-way crosses carrying this new improved breeding. There is a strong trend toward single crosses and 3-way crosses." Both the single crosses and the 3-way crosses produce more vigor, more uniformity and are easier to breed for more specific purposes such as disease resistance. Significant advantages for the single and 3-way crosses have shown up in on-the-fann results. (This is where it counts.) The XL's, such as DeKalb's XL-45, have what is needed for high population com. They have a strong stalk, they are short, they have an ear on every stalk, have strong shanks, are resistant to a wide range of diseases and insects. Narrow Rows Best There were two reasons given for going to narrow row corn. 1. Narrow rows yield more at the same plant population. 2. Narrow rows tend to shade out the weeds, conserve moisture. Narrow rows, it was pointed out, can show significant advantages as was demonstrated in a Dayton, Iowa test. Corn planted in 20" rows out-yielded corn in 40" rows at the same population by 19 bushels per acre. This is one year's result and is far from conclusive, but the potential is clearly evident. The hybrid used was especially suited to high plant population, DeKalb XL-45. 10-Point Program For Profit "If fanners will follow these 10 steps," the seed specialists concluded, "it may increase yields an average of 10 to 30 bushels per acre." Briefly the 10 points are: (1) Handle water supply efficiently — this means drainage if necessary, keeping a good over winter cover and improving tilth by plowing down crop residues. (2) Test soil for N, JP, K, as well as lime and trace elements. (3) Use minimum tillage to reduce labor, soil compaction and erosion. (4) Fertilize for yield goal. Boosting corn to higher yield levels may require about 2 pounds of extra nitrogen (actual) per bushel increase, 2 pounds of P 2 O 8 and IX pounds of K 2 O. (5) Plant early — Last week in April or first week in May is usually best in the corn belt. Early plantings, year after year, produce higher yields, reduce lodging and advance the harvesting date. (6) Plant Higher Poptttaiions — Stands of 20,000 and up at harvest time usually give top yields. Shoot for a stand that produces ears about one-half pound to six-tentlis pound in weight. (7) Plant in narrow rows — makes better use of fertilizer, helps control weeds (especially if you use a chemical weed control) and increases yield in most cases. (8) Plant a modern hybrid —check for short stalks, strong shanks, yielding ability, ability to take high populations, resistance to disease and insects and maturity adapted to your area. (9) Control weeds and insects chemically — follow manufacturer's directions on the label. (10) Harvest early and carefully — adjust equipment and don't get in too big of a hurry.
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