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Planting depth can determine corn emergence and yield in the end.

April 3, 2023

1 Min Read
Uniform planting depth also ensures adequate and uniform moisture intake. Corteva Science

Proper planting depth is important for achieving both rapid and consistent corn emergence following planting.

One myth in planting is that corn planted shallow will emerge faster, driving higher-end yield. Pioneer research has found that might not be the case, and that corn planted at a depth of one inch can have as much as a 20 bu/A disadvantage to corn planted at three inches.

“I don’t recommend ‘cheating’ on planting depth even on your higher-yielding, better ground,” said Dr. Mary Gumz, Pioneer Agronomy Manager. “It’s rewarding to see that quick emergence with shallow planting, but it will be fleeting as you fight uneven emergence and potential yield loss the rest of the season.”

Uniform planting depth also ensures adequate and uniform moisture intake. Planting deeper consistently results in greater emergence uniformity and similar or improved corn emergence rates.

As with any agronomy principle, there are always exceptions. However, it’s typically better to err on the side of too deep versus too shallow with corn planting depth. For instance, planting corn at the deeper end of the recommended range (2.5 to 3.0 inches) can be advantageous for corn emergence.

Source: Corteva Agriscience

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