There are many management decisions and external factors that impact yield, but achieving uniform emergence can influence corn yield outcomes by as much as 21%. Plants that emerge later than those around them can be at a competitive disadvantage, resulting in reduced leaf area and biomass. These plants often yield less, reducing the overall yield of that field. For both corn and soybean fields, there are multiple methods for determining early stand counts.
“A simple tape measure or measure phone app can do the trick,” said Paul Yoder, Pioneer Field Agronomist in Illinois. “For both corn and soybeans, growers can measure off the distance appropriate for row width, count the number of live plants and multiply by 1,000 to obtain an estimate of plants per acre. And remember to take multiple, random samples to get an accurate representation of your field.”
Growers can also utilize the Pioneer drone fleet, which provide stand counts in just a few minutes. Pioneer agronomists use Corteva Flight, which delivers accurate stand counts for corn and gap analysis for soybeans, helping growers make better in-season management decisions.