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Harvest corn yields in 2020 so far are demonstrating the importance of soil fertility and genetics!
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StarAg
Posted 9/16/2020 19:43 (#8499457 - in reply to #8498800)
Subject: RE: Harvest corn yields in 2020 so far are demonstrating the importance of soil fertility and geneti


NC Iowa
FarmWeather - 9/16/2020 11:58

StarAg - 9/16/2020 07:47

Corn yield the past 5-6 years has been mostly influenced by how much excess rain we accumulated.  Then 2020 happened and hot, dry conditions reminded us that during stress soil fertility is number 1 in yield performance and handling stress.  You have to feed the plants and if the soil test indicates only 32,000 plants can be feed in a particular field, you better plant 32,000.
Also, the attached photo of 4 different hybrids planted in a stressed environment in northern Iowa, indicate the imprortance of genetically based root size in a hot, dry weather pattern.  When a plant is trying to scavage limited moisture and fertility, the size of the root matters.  And root size is determined by the male and female inbreds use in creating a particular hybrid.
Those who pay attention to these 2 agronomic items will be better next year if the pattern of hot, and dry persists.  It was amazing to me the consistency of rainfall from 2014 through 2019.  It would not surprise me to see a hotter, dryer pattern in the next few years.   

Actual Planted Depth and Soil Test Values would add some context to this discussion.



Planting date end of April at 2 inches depth in 20 inch row spacing at 37,000 population. Field is low in OM in the 2 to 3% range with very hilly topography. Fertility is limited with P and K testing below average with a Ph range in the 6 range. Plants showed Sulfur deficiency at V6 stage.

Bottom line is plant roots had to savage for nutrition and limited rainfall which according to Climate showed a 7 inch deficit
compare to average. Defensive hybrids with a large root system would be my recommendation next year not knowing what the environmental conditions will next year.
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