Achieving consistent harvest moisture in corn and silage starts at planting time. As the weather warms up, we suggest farmers begin thinking about their #plant17 plan. While there are many factors that can cause harvest moisture variability, seed placement is one area we can control.
Planting depth affects how fast seed will emerge, so it only stands to reason that consistent planting depth reduces the chances of harvest variability. While seed firmers might not work in all soil conditions, newer designs work well in a variety of soil conditions to improve seed placement in furrow.
Many seed technologists recommend placing in-furrow fertilizer on each side of seed rather than directly on seed. Because seed treatments and compounds are already on today’s seed corn, adding another compound (i.e. fertilizer in this case) adds another layer of risk that could potentially injure the germ. The pericarp, or the protective barrier around the fragile germ, varies in thickness and permeability for each hybrid.
Applying fertilizer in a “Y” pattern on each side of the seed allows for the seed to grow out of the hot fertilizer zone with less risk for germ damage. This may seem like a small detail, but every detail counts when you want to make every seed count!
Pictured top left shows variability in seed placement results in variable stages of emergence, which can eventually delay maturity. Top right is an example of the same hybrid planted on the same day, without seed firmers. Many seed technologists recommend placing in furrow fertilizer on each side of seed rather than direct on seed (bottom right). More consistent harvest moisture in corn and corn silage starts at planting. Seed firmers help improve seed placement.