Factors Affecting Corn Production
There are numerous factors affecting corn production. Corn is a vegetable and a grain that grows with tall grass-like stalk while producing large kernels in a cob. The color of the kernels can be yellow or white. However, kernels mostly have a mix of oranges, yellows, reds, purples and browns. The production of corn is affected by numerous factors which influence its yields.
Major factors affecting corn production
Weather is the major factor that affects the production of corn. Unfortunately, farmers do not have much control of this factor. Weather aspects like temperature, rainfall and moisture all have impact on the production of this crop. Weather factors can also be called environmental factors which influence corn growth.
- Nitrogen supply
Supply of nitrogen in the soil also affects the production of corn. This factor explains the difference that continuous production of corn and rotation of corn with soybeans has. Soil with high amount of nitrogen has the capacity to support high yields of corn. This is why some farmers apply nitrogen fertilizers in their fields to supply nitrogen that corns need to grow. Globally, the use of nitrogen fertilizers is gaining considerable attention in terms of research due to their impact on the production of various crops including corn.
- Hybrid selection
Biotechnology or genetics play a vital role in improving the potential of the corn seeds that are available to farmers. Hybrid selection is an important decision that corn farmers have to make because it impacts on their overall production. Some farmers do not realize that there are commercial hybrids that have high yield potential. Thus, hybrid selection is increasingly becoming a significant factor that affects the production of corn.
- Plant population
The maximum occupancy of the land where corn is grown also affects production. This entails aspects like spacing of the crop during planting which impact on their growth and yields. Plant population is usually affected by weather because some plants can be damaged by bad weather at their early stage. Planting more plants in a small field will also make them susceptible to the unfavorable conditions and diseases. As such, plant population is bound to affect the production of corn.
Chemicals like foliar fungicides make corn less sensitive to the environmental stressors. This has an impact on the overall yields that a farmer can harvest from a given corn field. Even chemicals that some farmers use to control weeds and pests while growing corn affect the overall corn production.
The timing and degree of tillage affects the production of corn because reduction in production from the previous crop or yield penalty is associated with residue. Additionally, the tillage system that farmers adapt can affect the population of the plant.
How factors affecting corn production are managed
The factors that affect the production of corn are managed in different ways.
They include the following:
- Field selection
The field where corn is produced affects the overall production of corn. As such, farmers try to manage these factors by selecting the best fields for growing corn. Generally, corn grows better in low stress and highly productive environments.
- Residue management
Corn residue is a major factor that affects the production of corn. It has been identified as a major cause of yield penalty. To manage residue, corn growers take numerous actions like removing residue partially, ensuring proper hybrid’s selection and proper tillage. Farmers also apply nitrogen to accelerate the breakdown of residue.
By rotating corn with soybean, farmers maintain high yields in places where they grow corn frequently or consecutively. This is because rotating corn with soybean reduces yield penalty because soybean replenishes nitrogen in the soil. This facilitates the growth of corn in the next crop.
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