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The interactions between corn plant population, genetics, soil type, fertility, crop rotation, pest control, tillage and weather are very complex, says Joel Wipperfurth, master agronomy adviser for Winfield, Owatonna, Minn. That’s why it’s important to evaluate the effectiveness of a variable-rate seeding program on a farm-by-farm basis, he says.
One way to do that is to plant check strips of higher and lower seeding rates alongside the prescribed rate in each management zone within a field. If a lower seeding rate produced the same yield as the prescribed rate, for example, you might want to adjust the prescription the next year.
To make it easier to measure the results of VRS, Bob Gunzenhauser, DuPont Pioneer, suggests that growers try three or four different seeding rates, each differing by about four thousand seeds/acre.
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