When you are scouting just emerged corn, it's a good idea to dig down and measure the distance from the seed to the soil surface.
It should be at least 1 ½ to 2 inches.
"Proper planting depth goes hand in hand with strong root development. If corn isn't planted deep enough it will lose critical nutrient uptake and standability later in the growing season."
Data from some Legend Seeds test plots show improper planting depth results in ayield loss of as much as 12 to 25 bushels per acre.
Planting depth is just one valuable piece of information you clean within days of corn emergence.
Another key is emerged plant population. You want to make sure the seed is performing as it should.
"Each (hybrid) has its own rate of emergence and development. These things are crucial to where they are planted. If a product is planted improperly it impacts yields and ultimately profits," Knight said.
While initial plant evaluation can provide you with information to use when planning 2014 management practices and selecting seed; Knight says it's important to evaluate plants throughout the entire growing season.
In some cases you can actually increase yields by scouting early. For example, if you check leaf coloration early enough you can side dress fertilizer if the plant is short of nutrients.
Throughout the season it's also important to note a plant's stage of development and compare it to its peers.
After pollination, review ear development and stalk health.
"Plant evaluation helps growers develop their harvesting plan," Knight says. "Some early maturing hybrids may need to be harvested prior to the desired 15% moisture. Once the plant matures it begins to shut down and the stalk dries down becoming weaker than it once was."
Source: Legend Seed