Crop & Pest Report

Accessibility


| Share

Considerations for Late Planted Corn (05/16/19)

The area planted to corn in North Dakota increased substantially this past week and conditions are favorable for further progress in corn planting this week.

The area planted to corn in North Dakota increased substantially this past week and conditions are favorable for further progress in corn planting this week. Never the less, many corn acres will be planted later than is considered optimum due to unfavorable weather conditions this spring. When corn planting is delayed beyond May 25th, we recommend switching to a hybrid that is five or more days earlier maturing than what is normally grown. This will help ensure that it will reach physiological maturity before the first killing frost and that the grain is not excessively wet at harvest time in the fall. When following our current corn hybrid maturity recommendations, hybrids planted in early May should reach physiological maturity well in advance of the first killing frost. Growing a hybrid that matures before using all of the season’s frost-free days for growth might seem to significantly limit yield. However, this strategy is recommended so the crop can dry sufficiently before harvest, will not be so wet that it will be expensive to dry, or difficult to harvest late in the fall (i.e. begins snowing).

 plsc.2

The rate of corn drying is related to the temperature, and average temperatures drop quickly in October. A great tool for looking at the relationship between planting date and the development of corn hybrids of differing maturities is the Corn Growing Degree Day Decision Support Tool. This tool, as an example, predicts that a 90 day RM hybrid planted in Cass County on May 15th would reach maturity on September 28th (see Figure 1 for this example of the graphical output of the tool), but if planting is delayed until May 25th it would not reach maturity until October 12th (data not shown).

Another question often asked regarding late planted corn is, ”Should plant populations be altered as planting is delayed?”
Most published report suggest that staying with the originally intended populations is the best course of action, even when planting is delayed beyond the period of optimum corn yield.

 

Joel Ransom

Extension Agronomist for Cereal Crops

This site is supported in part by the Crop Protection and Pest Management Program [grant no. 2017-70006-27144/accession 1013592] from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed are those of the website author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

USDA logo

Creative Commons License
Feel free to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons license and our Rules for Use. Thanks.