Thanks to advances in corn hybrid genetics, nitrogen stabilizers and crop protection products, corn-on-corn acres are a popular choice amongst farmers. While reduced yields are always a risk, growers now have more tools to minimize loss and maintain a healthier crop throughout the growing season.

While hybrid selection is critical to maximizing yield potential, proficient residue management is key to successful corn-after-corn production. High corn residues can result in cooler, wetter soils at planting; increased disease and insect levels; and nitrogen tie-up during the growing season. Because of this, starter fertilizers should be considered when planting corn on corn. 

Starter fertilizers traditionally are recommended for fields with cooler soil temperatures, no-till fields and those with high residue cover. When placed near the developing seed,
starter fertilizers provide easily accessible nutrients until soil conditions improve and an adequate root system is established.

Because nutrients are so important to corn-on-corn acres, nitrogen stabilizers may also be needed. The greatest nitrogen losses through denitrification generally occur in the spring when rain is most frequent and nitrogen uptake is relatively low. Rescue or side-dress applications will most likely be needed, too.

“Corn uses about 40% of its nitrogen post-tassel,” said Ron Joiner, Pioneer Field Agronomist. “Anything we can do to spread out nutrient applications and make more available for grain fill benefits the crop overall.”

Though some yield loss is expected when planting corn on corn, yield reductions can be minimized by selecting the right hybrids and managing fields before, during and after the growing season. Routinely scout and monitor fields to identify any problems early. Look for stand establishment issues, nitrogen shortages, increased insect pressure, disease outbreaks, weed problems and moisture stress effects to mitigate corn-on-corn issues.

This information is courtesy of Pioneer.

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