3 Factors To Consider For Success In Continuous Corn

Craig Langemeier
February 25, 2019

This morning on the Chicago Board of Trade, corn traded for just over $3.70 per bushel. Compared to the last few years, this is a good price and might make you rethink your crop rotation. With depressed soybean prices and a full moisture profile in most of the Hoegemeyer footprint, I think we’re going to see some acres switch yet this spring. However, when planting corn-on-corn, there are a few factors to consider.

Hybrid Selection 

Hybrid selection might be the most important factor when planting corn-on-corn.

  1. Find a product with an above average disease package
  2. Find a product that has a good stress emergence score, as corn-on-corn fields will have more residue to contend with versus rotated acres

Hoegemeyer announced we will have Qrome® products available for sale during this coming growing season. Consider these new products as they will bring the same great corn rootworm protection you are accustomed to with an AMXT™ trait stacked product, but with more product options and increased yield potential.

Nutrient Management

Corn-on-corn fields are going to take and use more pounds of Nitrogen per acre than rotated fields. There are two reasons why:

  1. Fields will see approximately 45 lbs./acre Nitrogen credit if rotating from soybeans
  2. Soil Nitrogen mineralization is reduced in corn-on-corn systems due to the slower rate in which corn residues break down relative to soybean residues

Soils also tend to warm slower in corn-on-corn systems due to an increase in crop residues covering the soil surface - further slowing the Nitrogen cycle.

Field selection

When deciding which fields should be rotated vs. fields that could remain in corn, there are a few things you should look at. Fields with higher organic matter, irrigation and better fertility are going to be better options to remain in corn. The ability of soil to serve as a source of Nitrogen for crop growth is directly related to its organic matter content. Fields with higher organic matter will be better suited to mineralize Nitrogen that is accessible to the plant throughout the growing season. However, in dryland situations, fields with higher organic matter content will have higher water holding capacities.  In fields with irrigation, water will not be a limiting factor.

These considerations can help you evaluate your crop rotation this spring and bring you success planting corn-on-corn. If you have any product questions, feel free to contact your local Hoegemeyer representative.