MISS maintains that the planter is the most important piece of equipment the farmer owns. Planting errors are not correctable within that growing season. Pioneer, Syngenta, John Deere, Case IH, Monsanto, the Farm Journal and other agronomic sources have done extensive research on the cost of improper planting resulting in erratic plant emergence. MISS believes that out of all the layers of data needed for a complete agronomic management analysis, the layer that few agronomists and farmers take into consideration is plant emergence. Erratic plant emergence and erratic seed placement (in depth and space) can be just as costly as any other improper agronomic practice. Planter performance can and does cost Corn Belt farmers up to fifteen or twenty bushels of corn per acre.
The CEA was derived from factoring the above referenced research with MISS’ extensive field experience.
Ranking System for Ideal Emergence
- Target population, should be maximum for that soil productivity
- 1,000-plant per acre variance is allowed from target
- Uniformity of spacing between plants
- Planted 1 1/2″ to 1 3/4″ into settled soil
- Same day emergence
The field counts and analysis are taken via a geo-referenced grid system to avoid bias in the counts. The counts are taken from different rows of the planter since all planter units may not be operating the same.
The point system is not intended to show a percentage of yield loss, such as an 80 score would not indicate 120 bushel corn when other parts of the field yielded 160 bushels on the 100 score. Any of the five ranked factors (variance, emergence from ideal, skips & doubles, deviation from ideal planting depth and emergence uniformity) will have more or less effect on yield depending on the greatest variable, weather conditions. The system is intended to show where the greatest type of error occurs and where the field ranks against the norm.
Below is an example and its corresponding worksheet.
Coefficient of Variation (C.V.)
The more uniform a plant canopy, the less interplant competition for light, moisture and fertility, for each 10% of C.V. from zero will result in point deduction.
Emergence from Ideal
Lower than intended plant populations result in lower yield potential across the field. Higher than intended populations result in higher seed cost and increased competition than originally intended. The first thousand plants per acre +/- from intended will not impose a deduction of points. Deviation beyond this will incur point deduction.
Skips & Doubles
Adjacent plants to skip cannot fully compensate for missing plants. Doubles result in barren plants, which do not recover the seed cost but continue to use nutrients.
Divergence from intended “ideal” depth results in delayed emergence and/or poorer seedling vigor; therefore, a point deduction given based on amount of deviation from ideal. A plant that emerges two leaves behind adjacent plants will not produce an ear, making it a very expensive weed.
Uniformity of Emergence
The amount of difference in leaf growth of individual plants against the majority of the growing crop is measured and given specific point deductions based on lag of the plants measured.