indiana Prairie Farmer Logo

Dave Nanda's Top 5 Ideas to Improve Corn Yields

Plant breeder offers these tips to help you plant another successful corn crop in 2014.

Tom Bechman 1, Editor, Indiana Prairie Farm

March 19, 2014

2 Min Read

Many of you harvested top yields last year, especially with corn. What do you do for an encore?

The best answer would be to dial in similar weather conditions to last year. Unfortunately that's beyond your control. So instead, what other things can you do to set up the possibility for top yields if the weather cooperates?

Dave Nanda offers five tips. The plant breeder is currently Director of Genetics and Technology for Seed Consultants, Inc.


1. Spread risk. Plant at least three hybrids of different maturity on your farm. Be sure you're getting hybrids from different genetic families. The best way to do that is to buy most of your seed from a single reliable seed company that delivers good value.

2. Make use of the season. Plant 70% full-season hybrids for your area. Finish your line-up with 20% medium-maturing hybrids, and 10% early maturing hybrids. If it's too late to juggle your line-up this year, keep it in mind for next year.

3. Pick healthy hybrids. Ask for hybrids with good resistance to diseases which are prevalent in your area. The hybrids you chose will be more likely to succeed if they are noted for excellent standability.

4. Use calenderization. What is that? Is it a real word? Nanda says it's in his vocabulary because it's an easy way to describe how he recommends planting sequence in the spring. Plant full-season hybrids first so they can mature on time. Plant early hybrids next and plant medium maturity hybrids last. To make this work, you'll need to plant early.

5. Keep flowering date in mind. Ask for hybrids with flowering synchrony. In other words, if you're planting two hybrids in a field, pick hybrids that shed pollen and silk at about the same time. Here, "about" is a key word. You may want two to three days' difference in flowering time to spread risk, Nanda concludes.

Looking for ways to maximize corn yield? We have a new free report - Maximize Corn Yield Potential. The 32-page report offers a range of insight into ways you can put more bushels in the bin.

About the Author(s)

Tom Bechman 1

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farm

Tom Bechman is an important cog in the Farm Progress machinery. In addition to serving as editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer, Tom is nationally known for his coverage of Midwest agronomy, conservation, no-till farming, farm management, farm safety, high-tech farming and personal property tax relief. His byline appears monthly in many of the 18 state and regional farm magazines published by Farm Progress.

"I consider it my responsibility and opportunity as a farm magazine editor to supply useful information that will help today's farm families survive and thrive," the veteran editor says.

Tom graduated from Whiteland (Ind.) High School, earned his B.S. in animal science and agricultural education from Purdue University in 1975 and an M.S. in dairy nutrition two years later. He first joined the magazine as a field editor in 1981 after four years as a vocational agriculture teacher.

Tom enjoys interacting with farm families, university specialists and industry leaders, gathering and sifting through loads of information available in agriculture today. "Whenever I find a new idea or a new thought that could either improve someone's life or their income, I consider it a personal challenge to discover how to present it in the most useful form, " he says.

Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like