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Testing stand uniformity in corn

Agriculture.com Staff 07/07/2010 @ 9:10am

University of Nebraska agronomist Roger Elmore provides this step-by-step guide to evaluating the uniformity of your corn stands this spring.

Choose plots in several "random" areas of the field; avoid selecting just the best or the worst of the field. Samples should characterize the field as well as you can. Locate plots areas at least 300 feet or so from field ends. If possible, determine where you intend to measure spacings before you enter the field.

Use at least three plots in the field for each comparison (whether it is different row units on the planter, different tillage systems, different hybrids, etc.). Count at least 1/100 of an acre for each comparison. The goal is to measure spacings of at least 250 plants per treatment comparison. Determine the length of row necessary to achieve 1/100 of an acre. Divide that number by the number of sampling locations to determine how many feet of plants to count in each sampling location. You could do this on 10 sampling locations (plots) in the field each with 1/1000 of an acre. Taking time to determine why the plants are missing in the 'skip' areas may help you decide what to work on next year.

At each sampling site within a treatment:

Mark off (flag) either 17 feet, 5 inches (for 30 inch rows) or 14 feet, 6 inches (for 36 inch rows) in each plot. Record data from the same planter unit (unless you intend to check variability in planter unit performance). Using one or both of the two center rows of the planter makes that relatively easy to ensure.

Lay a measuring tape beside the plants with the zero point of the tape on the first flag.

Record plant spacings in inches. Round the measurements to the nearest inch.

Record the distance from the first plant outside the plot area as distance from that plant to the first flag. Also record the distance in inches of the first plant beyond the second flag at the other end of the plot.

Download a PDF file of the Machinery Digest section from the April 2004 issue of Successful Farming

University of Nebraska agronomist Roger Elmore provides this step-by-step guide to evaluating the uniformity of your corn stands this spring.

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