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What Now for Corn After Corn?

Gil Gullickson Updated: 05/22/2014 @ 10:34am Crops Technology Editor for Successful Farming magazine/Agriculture.com

If you’ve finished planting corn after corn this spring, congratulations! Planting corn after corn is no small task. Compared to corn following soybeans, you have much more residue to plant through. All this residue creates a paradise for disease pathogens.


Corn after corn is also prone to higher levels of corn rootworm levels, too. In some cases, continuous use of the same trait in corn after corn has led to corn rootworm resisting rootworm-resistant traits.

Still, you have a long road to travel before you bin the corn this fall. Corn after corn requires more nitrogen (N) than rotated corn. One strategy to get N to corn when it’s needed is by applying N in several increments.

“There are a lot of in-season applications that have been done,” says Bruce Battles, Syngenta solutions development manager. In cases where weather has prevented N from being sidedressed, N has been dribbled onto corn via high-boys, he notes.

Fungicide use may be a step to eye down the road, particularly for disease-susceptible hybrids. Scouting is also essential for detecting maladies like rootworm trait-resistance.

“Corn on corn requires a whole new level of management,” says Battles. “Some of this is placement on the right acres.”

For example, continuous corn tends to work better on more productive ground, rather than in fields with low yield potential.

Here are some more corn-after-corn considerations given by Battles. 

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