Increase Seed Rates to Achieve Optimal Plant Population in Final Stands

Today’s biotech corn hybrids combine elite genetics with high-performing traits that better handle stress and actually thrive in high planting populations. University corn specialists across the Corn Belt recommend that growers increase seeding rates by 5% to 10% to achieve optimal plant population in final stands.

Recent surveys indicate that many growers have not increased seeding rates to accommodate these high tech hybrids. In fact, 9 out of 10 growers surveyed plant rootworm-resistant corn hybrids at the same rate as traditional non-rootworm corn.

It’s time to optimize seeding rates.  On productive soils, with consistent performance records, final stands of more than 30,000 plants per acre may be necessary to maximize yield potential. In less productive soils, droughty areas, or if late planting is necessary, final stands should be in the mid-20,000 range.

It is important to understand the relationship between seeding rates and final stand.  To achieve optimized plant populations, you may need to increase your seeding rate 15% to 20% above your targeted final stand plant population. The higher rates will make up for unavoidable losses due to seasonal situations and planting conditions.

One of your first steps should be increasing seeding rates for the biotech hybrids you plant next season.  At Latham Hybrids, we are focusing on planting populations in several research plots throughout the area.  For results on those trials, check with your local Latham Seed2Soil specialist.

Have you tried any increased seeding rates in your fields?  Seen any university research trials on plant populations?  What were the results?  We’d love to hear your story!  Share it with us in the comment box below.