Corn Population Survey Results - UNL CropWatch, March 29, 2013

Corn Population Survey Results - UNL CropWatch, March 29, 2013

March 29, 2013

The results are in! Thank you to those of you who completed our survey on corn planting rates. We had 22 responses from readers in Nebraska and Kansas. More than half of the respondents said they weren’t planning to change their corn populations this year, while 22% said they planned to increase corn populations, and 22% said they would decrease them.

Following is a breakdown of survey responses.

What are your current irrigated and dryland corn population rates (or rates you are recommending)?

Populations and Counties

26,000-38,000 — Lincoln, variable rate (assuming dryland and irrigated)
28,000-32,000 — Pierce
28,000-35,000 — Gage
30,000-32,000 — Clay
30,000 — Clay
31,000 — Hamilton
31,000 — Cedar
32,000 — Platte
34,000 — Polk/Platte
34,000 — Thayer
34,000 — Cedar
34,000 — Clay
36,000 — Lancaster

27,000-30,000 — Anderson, KS
32,000 — Jefferson, NE/Washington, KS


Populations and Counties

18,000 — Clay
22,000 — Clay
22,000 — Thayer
22,000-25,000 — Gage
24,000 — Cedar
24,000 — Platte
24,000-26,000 — Clay
25,000 — Lancaster
26,000 — Washington
26,000 — Polk/Platte
26,000-38,000 — Lincoln, variable rate (assuming dryland and irrigated) 22,000-26,000 — Hall, depending on yield goal
28,000-30,000 — Cass ("high population almost always better and cost effective here")
28,000 — Cedar
30,000 — Lancaster
32,000 seeds/ac on 20-inch rows — Lancaster
33,000 — Lancaster

24,000 — Jefferson/Washington Co, KS
25,000 dryland upland, 28,000 dryland bottom in Marshall, KS
25-27,000 good bottomland dryland, 24-26,000 upland dryland in Anderson, KS

Are you planning to change your corn planting rates (or recommendations for these rates) for 2013?

Fifty-five percent of respondents said they planned to maintain the same populations they currently plant, 22% said they would increase, and 22% said they would decrease populations.

Please indicate the reasons for increasing or reducing your corn plant populations in 2013.

The reasons provided for increasing corn planting populations included having observed yield increases at higher populations, thinking more yield could have been achieved in the past with higher populations; test plots showed higher yields and economics; yield; UNL On-Farm Research and other research from UNL; planting for success in Nebraska—more often than not one is rewarded for that; reduced ET and taking advantage of drought-tolerant seed products.

Reasons provided for reducing corn planting rates included several responses regarding drought; problem irrigation wells; low lake levels that source irrigation water; and a new planter that plants higher populations than wanted.

Did this article on UNL's On-Farm corn population research help you in determining your corn planting rates? 

Thirteen percent said the article was beneficial and will alter planting rate as a result; 61% said the article confirmed what they were already planting; and 26% did not feel it was beneficial. One comment was that it confirmed the multi-year trials conducted by that grower.

Would you be interested in conducting on-farm research (or for Ag Industry, would you be interested in partnering with UNL and your local growers in conducting on-farm research)?

While the on-farm research results are usually very interesting to growers, 81% of respondents weren't interested in conducting research. Nineteen percent were and will be contacted.

Thank you for taking our survey!

Jenny Rees for the Nebraska On-Farm Research Team

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A field of corn.