What is in this article?:
- Getting grain yields up is a priority for Southeast growers
- Huge livestock industry
- 200 bushel per acre potential
• The pattern of up and down yields produces uncertainty among corn growers and livestock producers alike.
• The result is a high percentage of corn used for livestock feed is brought into the region from other states.
CORN YIELDS across the Southeast have varied greatly over the past few years, due to changing weather patterns.
200 bushel per acre potential
“The genetic potential for maximum yield in soybeans is more than 200 bushel per acre.
“The maximum genetic potential in wheat would be more than 200 bushel per acre.”
“If accurate, these numbers indicate the current national average yield of these crops is only 25-30 percent of maximum genetic potential for these crops.
“The genetic potential of each plant is continually lost due to stresses that occur on the plant throughout its growing lifecycle,” Stoller says.
To reverse this trend in slow or no yield increase, Stoller says growers must take several steps, applying products which are already in the marketplace or will soon be there at critical times during the growing season.
His steps for dramatic plant performance and subsequently higher yields and profits are:
• Treat all seeds in order to increase the epigenetic expression of each during the process of germination and before the hypocotyl reaches the sunlight. This will program the plant to have maximum DNA expression throughout the rest of its life.
• Treat seeds so the root growth is primarily vertically downward to eliminate lateral root growth as much as possible. It is lateral root growth that attracts nematodes, soil borne diseases, and soil borne insects.
• When the plants are 2-3 leaves high, they must be treated in order to inhibit auxin movement from the top of the plant downward to the roots. The excessive movement of auxin down to the roots inhibits root growth.
• At the V4 — V6 stage of plant growth, plants must be treated with phytohormones in order to maximize the bud primordia that are being developed, which will appear during the periods of pollination. This will determine the number of rows on a corn cob as well as the number of kernels on the cob.
• The plants must be treated prior to flowering or tasseling in order to make it easier for them to undergo the hormonal transition that is involved from the change of vegetative growth stage to the reproductive growth stage. The stress incurred on the plant in doing so will maintain the energy in plant cells so that the process of pollination or flower fertility occurs with more ease and can be expressed more vigorously.
• The plant must be treated previous to the period of pollination and during the period of flower formation in order to negate the effects of temperature that is higher than normal. Any temperatures that exceed 87 degrees F will begin to have a negative effect on pollination and flower fertility on both corn and soybeans.
If temperatures exceed 90 degrees F, 1 percent yield loss occurs each day during two weeks surrounding pollination of corn.
If the temperatures exceed 93 degrees F 2 percent per day is lost in yield.
If the temperature exceeds 95 to 96 degrees F, 3 percent yield is lost per day.
• When corn is at the brown silk stage, it must be treated in order to encourage cell elasticity so that each seed can gain bigger size and transfer more sugar which greatly increases seed weight.
On soybeans, treatments should be started at the R4 stage of growth. The R5 stage of growth should be the latest that this treatment is started. Two treatments spaced 7-10 days after the first treatment are highly recommended in order to get the greatest grain size and grain weight.
• All corn and soybean plants should be treated 3 weeks before the indicated harvest date in order to stop the mother plant from taking sugar back from the seeds of the plants during periods of stress.
This is why corn ears shrink. This is why soybean pods lose seeds.
In fact, soybean pods can be teardrop shaped, which indicates a movement of sugars in the pod back into the mother plants. This problem will always be greater on long-season corn and non-determinant soybean varieties.
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