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Energize Your Corn Fields

Make the most of the 7 wonders of the corn yield world to boost your returns.

Fred Below looks at pushing up corn yields in a much different way than many researchers. The crop physiologist at the University of Illinois has determined that 7 critical items have the most impact on corn yields.

Based on research conducted in the Crop Physiology Laboratory at Champaign, Ill., Below refers to these factors as the “7 Corn Growing Wonders Of The World.” He’s found that they can have as much as a 260-bushel-per-acre impact on yields.

Below admits that there are a number of other practices that are important for high yields, but he doesn’t believe they are important enough to qualify for what he classifies as the “wonder” category.

“These could be one-time improvements like tile drainage or waterways,” he says. “They include items that protect rather than increase yields, such as weed or pest control. They may be decisions that don’t need to be made every year, such as managing soil pH and nutrient levels.

“As an example, weeds don’t add any corn yield. If you have weeds, you’re either unlucky or just cheap. Proper soil pH and adequate levels of phosphorus and potassium are also prerequisites for crop production. These and many other items are necessary to allow the 7 wonders to express their positive impact on corn yield.”

Some of the 7 corn yield wonders are items that you can definitely do something about. Others, such as the weather, may not be so easy to deal with.

“The important thing is that these factors interact…

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Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has served as editor of No-Till Farmer since the publication was launched in November of 1972. Raised on a six-generation Michigan Centennial Farm, he has spent his entire career in agricultural journalism. Lessiter is a dairy science graduate from Michigan State University.

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