8 tips to start your corn out right

  • 01

    Farmers are running wide-open in the Midwest to get this year's corn crop in the ground. Here are a few key things to keep in mind as you get your crop started out on the right foot.

  • 02

    Tillage & seeding

    Make sure you're planting into well-conditioned soils and planting at a seeding rate and depth that matches your field conditions, one expert says.

  • 03

    Watch the bugs

    There have already been reports of an "inordinate number" of black cutworm moths caught in traps around the Corn Belt. It's just one of a few bugs that could cause trouble this year.

  • 04

    Mother Nature weighs in

    A big factor to this year's yield potential will be whether La Niña will go ahead and fade away, making the switch to El Niño. The odds for better crop potential are better under the latter system, experts say. How likely is the switch?

  • 05

    Is the time right?

    Your early planting date for crop insurance coverage may have already passed, but does that automatically mean it's time to plant corn yet? See a few more variables to take into account here.

  • 06

    Moisture worries

    Some farmers say their fields could definitely use a drink. Fifty percent responding to a recent poll say dry soil's their biggest early-season concern. Experts say it's important to take this into account when planting.

  • 07

    Tight timeframes

    If you're holding off to plant corn despite the warm spring weather thus far, just don't fill that time with excessive tillage passes through your fields, advises one agronomist.

  • 08

    Early versus late

    If you're planting early this spring, you're not necessarily guaranteeing yourself higher yields. Instead, doing so can help you avoid potential problems related to late planting in the event of any later-spring hold-ups.

  • 09

    Managing disease

    Environmental conditions, planting date and seed variety planted all go into the prospects a disease returns at harmful levels in the future. So, keeping track of those variables and managing them in the future is crucial to keeping soil-bourne disease pressures are kept at bay.

Give your corn crop a head start

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