Dryland Corn Planting Depth by Population Study

TRIAL OBJECTIVE

  • Uneven corn emergence and uneven distribution of plants can result in reduced yield potential.

  • Planter setup is a critical first step to successfully establishing corn yield potential.

  • The objective of this demonstration was to illustrate the importance of properly adjusted planting equipment for seeding depth and recommended seeding rate to maximize stand establishment and yield potential.

 

RESEARCH SITE DETAILS

  • The demonstration used a 109 day relative maturity (RM) and two 113 day RM corn products.
  • Each corn product was planted at 2 populations at 4 seeding depths: 
    • 25,000 and 30,000 seeds per acre planted at a1.0-inch, 1.75-inch, 2.25-inch, and 3.0-inch depths.
  • The trial was planted with a Precision equipped planter with Delta Force
  • Each entry consisted of six 30-inch rows by 220 feet in length.
  • Yield data was captured with Precision Planting YieldSense and Climate FieldViewTM.
  • Field received 13.7” of total precipitation from planting date to harvest date

 

LocationBeatrice, NE  
Soil Type Silt clay loam 

Previous
Crop
Soybeans   
Tillage
Type
No tillage


 
Planting Date04/24/21  
Harvest Date09/27/21 

Potential Yield
 (bu/acre)
200  
Seeding Rate
(seeds/acre)
25,000, 30,000

 
image Figure 1. Left rows of center planted at 30,000 seeds per acre and at a 3-inch depth, right rows of center planted at 25,000 seeds per acre and at a 1- inch depth.

UNDERSTANDING THE RESULTS

image Figure 2. Corn yield performance averaged across 3 corn products planted at 2 different populations and 4 different depths. Beatrice, NE 2021.
image 3a. 30,000 seeds per acre planted at 1-inch depth.
image 3b. 30,000 seeds per acre planted at 1.75-inch depth.
image 3c. 30,000 seeds per acre planted at 2.25-inch depth
image 3d. 30,000 seeds per acre planted at 3-inch depth.

Figure 3. Note delay in maturity as a result of planting depth.  Image taken on August 23, 2021. 

  • In this trial, the highest yield was achieved with a seed depth of 2.25-inch when averaged across all three corn products (Figure 2).  

  • At the higher population, yield increased as seeding depth increased across the entries.  

  • Emergence was faster at the 1.0-inch seeding depth; however, yield inconsistency across corn products also increased (Figure 2). 

  • Senescence was also impacted with seeding depth as moisture stress caused shallower rooted entries to mature quicker than deeper planted entries especially at 30,000 seeds per acre (Figure 3). 

     

KEY LEARNINGS

  • This demonstration illustrates that planter setup for proper seeding depth combined with following recommended planting populations for a given corn product and area can help maximize yield potential.

 

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