Good yields begin with proper seed emergence and stand. To help corn and soybean producers understand how to check for both, the crops team at Iowa State University Extension has developed a new YouTube channel with timely updates.
The first four videos focus on stand assessments, poor stand and uniformity, assessing emergence and conducting stand counts. Each video is recorded in a recently planted field, with instruction by Mark Licht, ISU Extension cropping systems specialist.
“Stand assessment is important every year and should be done for each field,” Licht says. For those farmers who planted early and experienced cold, wet conditions soon after, it’s even more important this year, he says. Temperatures dipped to freezing or near freezing in many areas of Iowa.
Assess your stands
“Many corn and soybean fields were planted in April, and some were emerging in early May. May turned out to be colder than normal. Now is a good time to get out there and see what type of plant population and uniformity you have,” Licht says.
If problems are found, you may be able to correct the issue for this year, or if not, make a note of what needs to be corrected for next year. Common issues include soil condition and weather at planting, in addition to insect and disease pressure, and various aspects of planter maintenance and performance.
The videos are all 10 minutes or less, with answers and suggestions offered by Licht as he evaluates seed rows and emergence.
Stand assessment can feel redundant, he says, but is an important part of making the most out of every seed. “I think it’s really critical to do evaluate your stands because seed corn and soybean seed are expensive. We want every seed to come up and out of the ground, and be profitable,” he notes.
More crop management information
Other tips and crop management information are also available on the new ISU video channel. It’s a library of past videos on timely crop production and management topics, in addition to recent and newly posted videos.
Licht says the ISU crops team is planning to post additional videos throughout the growing season, looking at root assessment and other plant health issues. For the latest videos, follow the Crops Team YouTube channel. For more information, Licht can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 515-294-0877.