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Stand Counts and Assessment in Corn

May 04, 2021

This week, we would like to discuss the importance of proper stand counts and overall stand assessment. The most important field pass of the year is during planting. This sets the stage for optimizing your stands overall yield potential and ultimately your profit potential per acre. Once we have done all we can to optimize success at planting, we can then evaluate your stand once your corn crop has fully emerged. The proper way to access a stand is what we would like to focus on next.

  1. There are a few key factors to evaluating your corn’s emergence. Evaluating the stands population is the first step in this process. As technology has evolved at a rapid pace in our industry, we have several exciting platforms to help us efficiently evaluate our stands. At Countryside Landmark we have 2 drone platforms that we utilize for stand assessments in both Drone Deploy and Sentara technologies. By utilizing drone technology, we can cover a lot of acres in both an accurate and efficient manner. This will be done by either a quadcopter or a fixed wing drone. Once we have flown the respective fields, this technology will tell us our stands population throughout the field which allows us to ground truth in what the drone technology is telling us. At this point, we can then go out and physically measure our stands density. The standard guideline that we would recommend is to then measure multiple areas in the field to substantiate the population. Measure out 1/1000th of an acre based on your row width. For example, with a 30-inch row spacing, measure out a length of 17 feet 5 inches. Average the counts and multiply the average number of plants by 1,000 to obtain the plant population per acre. For 20-inch row spacing, you will measure 26 feet 2 inches and in a 15-inch row spacing you will measure 34 feet 10 inch.
  1. The next step in evaluating our stand is to measure the consistency of our plant spacing and placement of the planter pass. We measure this consistency by measuring the standard deviation of the spacing. Once we have measured this, it will give us an overall idea of the consistency of our plant spacing which is very important to achieving maximum yield potential.  Below is an example.
  1. The final step in evaluating your stand is uniformity of the plants growth stage and looking at the overall health of the stand. As stated above, trying to achieve as low of a standard deviation as possible will help to ensure that each plant is at the same growth stage. We then check for possible insect damage, disease presence, soil conditions (compaction in the root zone), proper seeding depth and overall health of your young plants.
In closing, we hope we have covered many of the important factors and useful techniques that we utilize to evaluate the performance of your corn stands. If you would like one of your Countryside Landmark agronomists to help support you in this evaluation, please reach out as we would be glad to lend our assistance. It is our goal to bring you the best solutions to maximize your crops performance during our 2021 season.

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