View the 7 Wonders of the Corn World

More than 25 years ago, Fred Below witnessed 300-bushel corn and that motivated him to research the specific factors that affect crop yield.  A professor of Plant Physiology in the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois, Dr. Below recently launched a new website that makes his findings readily available at

Each management practice has been categorized into a “wonder.”  The higher up on the list, the more control that factor exerts over the Wonders that follow, Below explains in a recent Hoard’s Dairyman article. When combined, Below says all of these factors contribute to big-yield gains:

1. Weather
2. Nitrogen/fertility
3. Hybrid selection
4. Previous crop
5. Plant population
6. Tillage
7. Growth regulators

On the new website, Dr. Below narrates video segments dedicated to each Wonder.  The “News” section provides updates on Below’s real-world plots at the upcoming Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Ill.  In addition, there is a 7WondersOfCorn Facebook page where growers can share their own photos and experiences.