Tailored Solutions – Corn Systems Management

TRIAL OBJECTIVE

Farm operations aim to maximize yield potential and profitability by careful deployment of inputs and practices with the best return on investment (ROI).

With the current market trend, growers contemplate cutting production costs by eliminating or reducing some inputs. 

The objective of this trial was to determine the economic value of two production systems:

  1. Grower standard system  
  2. Premium system (higher inputs)

 

RESEARCH SITE DETAILS

Location Huxley, IA Planting Date 5/16/19
Soil Type Clay loam Harvest Date 10/28/19
Previous Crop Soybean Potential Yield (bu/acre) 220
Tillage Type Strip tillage Seeding Rate (seeds/acre) 33K, 38K
  • Three SmartStax® RIB Complete® corn blend products with different relative maturities (RMs) were used for this trial:

    • 108 RM 
    • 112 RM 
    • 114 RM 
  • Each product was planted at both the premium and grower standard systems.
    • Grower Standard
      • 33,000 seeds/acre seeding rate
      • 160 lb/acre nitrogen applied pre-plant 
    • Premium
      • 38,000 seeds/acre seeding rate
      • 160 lb/acre nitrogen applied pre-plant
      • 40 lb/acre nitrogen side-dressed at V6 
      • Foliar fungicide and insecticide application at VT/R1
  • The trial was carried out in 30-inch row spacing, 6 rows/treatment with 2 replications.

  • Tillage and weed management were the same in both systems.

UNDERSTANDING THE RESULTS

  • The premium system out-yielded the grower standard, producing an average of 25 bu/acre more yield across all three corn products.

  • In this trial, as we increased product relative maturity (RM), we saw a better response to higher management (greater inputs).

  • With the current grain price of $3.50/bu, about 15 bu/acre is required to break even with the extra inputs in the premium system in all three corn products.

     

KEY LEARNINGS

  • Crop yield response to production inputs can be highly variable, often impacted by the environmental conditions during the growing season. Farmers are therefore advised to consult their trusted crop advisors when making such decisions.
Sources:

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