Farmers are always trying to improve their crop yields, but it can be tough. If you optimize your crop yield, it could lead to a significant increase in your profits. There are so many variables to consider – the weather, soil quality, fertilization techniques.
And these things change year-to-year and day-to-day depending on all sorts of unpredictable factors. What’s a farmer to do? It’s not impossible to significantly improve your corn crop yield. In this article, we’ll go through a few farmer-friendly strategies for doing exactly that.
Planting early gives your ears more time to grow without being affected by weather, pests, or predators. It is one of the easiest ways to significantly increase corn crop such that there’s an impressive result at the end of the day. Earlier planting also allows for greater soil preparation before you sow your seeds. Soil prep can be just as important as sowing – if you don’t prepare your soil well, there’s no way it will be able to accommodate all of the roots and shoots growing from your plants.
That brings us to our next strategy for significantly improving your corn crop yield: make sure you plan effectively. Planting effectively means using a deep plow that can go deeper than most planting methods tend to go. Be sure to plow your soil at least ten inches deep. What you’re looking for is something called “tillage depth.” Tillage depth is the maximum possible depth that can be achieved with any given tilling method. The optimal tillage depth depends on many factors, but generally speaking, the deeper you go, the better off your plants will be.
Focus on Nitrogen Fertilization
Nitrogen fertilization is a crucial and somewhat complicated process, and it can make or break your corn crop yield. The trick with nitrogen fertilizers is to use the right amount at the right time. If you flood too much fertilizer into your soil, your plants will suffer from an excess of nitrogen. Excess nitrogen can have the same harmful effects as a deficiency of nitrogen. This includes stunted growth, delayed flowering, and even death from nutrient toxicity.
So how do you figure out the right amount of fertilizer to use? There’s no perfect way for determining that quantity on your own – it depends too much on factors like soil quality, weather conditions, and even the type of fertilizer you choose. In short – it’s a guessing game most of the time.
Practice Seasonal Soil Rotation
Another strategy for significantly improving your corn crop yield is to practice seasonal soil rotation. Like many other farming activities, this can be broken down into two steps: preparation and execution. The first step – preparation – involves creating a plan of action beforehand. Implementing seasonal soil rotation means making three different fields out of one original field.
This way, your field can be used for different purposes (e.g. growing corn, then soybeans) throughout the year. Make sure you prepare your next planting spot before removing any crops from it to ensure that you get the best yield possible while minimizing lost production time.
The second step – execution – is where all of your hard work will pay off. When it comes time to plant your corn, rotate the location of the field. One year, use part of your field for corn production, another year for soybeans, and so on. By rotating between three separate areas throughout the seasons, you’ll be able to maximize your yields while minimizing soil depletion.
Know The Yield Potential Of Your Crop
You should realize that there are limitations to how much crops can actually give. The yield potential of corn is closely tied to its genetics. If the plant’s parents didn’t produce high yields, it won’t either. Yield potential varies depending on what your average rainfall and sunlight conditions are like, which can affect your yield and ultimately your crop’s success.
Ensure Proper Water Drainage
One thing to keep in mind is that corn crops need water throughout their lifetime. However, be sure to drain the fields of excess water after a big rain/storm because standing water can kill your crop. Even though the plant is grass, it can’t grow in water. Make sure to do a drainage test before you put the seed in your ground so that you don’t waste any time and money on seed, land, and fertilizers if standing water will ruin everything.
If you let water stay in the soil for too long, your plants will drown and die. Drowning is a massive issue – make sure to drain any excess water from your fields as soon as possible. Make sure to compromise between too much water and too little, so that your plants are adequately hydrated. Drainage ditches or pipes are recommended for this task.
Test Your Soil
Temperature, nutrients, and moisture are all vital to a plant’s health. Soil pH should be between 6-7 for optimum plant growth. A soil test can measure your soil’s nutrient content and what needs to be added in order to improve it. This way, you can get the maximum yield out of your land without having to pay too much for fertilizers. In some cases, adding fertilizer isn’t even necessary after a soil test.
Only apply the nutrients that your crop needs – otherwise, you risk nutrient toxicity and stunted growth which will affect your yield. Overapplication can also waste resources and money that could have been used more productively elsewhere on the farm.
Always Scout Your Fields
Scouting your fields regularly helps guarantee the highest possible yield. If you don’t know what problems your crops are facing, you can’t solve them properly. Scouting involves looking for diseased plants and pests. Diseases spread fast once they’re introduced to a field – if one plant gets sick, it’ll contaminate others quickly. This is why it’s best to quickly identify any problems and deal with them before they get out of hand.
In this article, we discussed a few of the most effective ways to increase your corn crop yields. Some of these include choosing an appropriate variety for your soil and climate conditions – as well as using cover crops or planting different species in rotation. All of these methods provide farmers with increased control over their land without compromising the environment for future generations.