Dryland Corn Seeding Rates Effect on Product Grain Yield 

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Dryland Corn Seeding Rates Effect on Product Grain Yield - 2021



  • Selecting the appropriate products and seeding rates are key to achieving higher yields in dryland corn production. 

  • Low corn populations can promote the formation of tillers (a.k.a. “suckers”).  There is a controversy as to whether these tillers compensate for grain yield when producing more than one ear per plant. 

  • The objective of this trial was to determine the effect of corn seeding rate on tiller incidence and grain yield for multiple Bayer corn products compared to three competitor products. 



LocationGothenburg, NE   
Soil Type Hord silt loam  


Planting Date05/13/21  
Harvest Date11/09/21 

Potential Yield
Seeding Rate
See below



  • The trial was set up as a randomized complete block design with four replications.  

  • A total of 20 corn products were selected for this trial, seventeen Bayer products and three competitor products with relative maturities (RM) ranging from 100 to 114 days.  

  • The four corn seeding rates used were 12,000, 16,000, 20,000, and 24,000 seeds/acre.  

  • Tiller incidence was reported as a percentage of the number of plants that presented tillers relative to the total number of plants in the plot.   

  • Corn was fertilized with a stream bar before planting (04/06/2021) with 90 lb/acre of nitrogen (N), 40 lb/acre of phosphorus (P), and 20 lb/acre of sulfur (S). Nitrogen was also side dressed on 06/22/2021 using Y-drops at 60 lb/acre.  

  • Weeds were controlled uniformly across the study area.  



image Figure 1. Tiller incidence (%) of different corn products according to seeding rates in dryland conditions at the Bayer Water Utilization Learning Center, Gothenburg, NE (2021). 
  • There was a significant interaction between product and seeding rate in tiller incidence in this study. 

  • Even though tiller incidence was variable by corn products, a greater tiller incidence was observed under lower corn seeding rates of 12,000 and 16,000 seeds/acre compared to the higher seeding rates of 20,000 to 24,000 seeds/acre (Figure 1). 

image Table 1. Difference in tiller incidence according to seeding rate and product selection at the Bayer Water Utilization Learning Center, Gothenburg, NE (2021). 
  • The tiller incidence reduction from 12,000 to 20,000, and from 12,000 to 24,000 seeds/acre was significant for all corn products in this trial (Table 1). 

  • The least tiller incidence reduction was observed from 20,000 to 24,000 seeds/acre (Table 1).  

image Figure 2. Average grain yield of corn products according to seeding rates under dryland conditions at the Bayer Water Utilization Learning Center, Gothenburg, NE (2021).
  • There was a trend of greater corn grain yield as seeding rates were increased in this study, except for product 109RM-B (Figure 2). 


image Table 2. Difference in corn grain yield according to seeding rate and product selection at the Bayer Water Utilization Learning Center, Gothenburg, NE (2021).
  • The corn grain yield response to seeding rate was product selection dependent. Table 2 displays the difference in grain yield between different seeding rate increments: 12,000 to 20,000; 12,000 to 24,000; and 16,000 to 24,000 (Table 2). 

  • Product 109RM-B did not show differences in grain yield relative to the seeding rate used (Table 2). 



  • Lower corn seeding rates produce more tillers but had reduced grain yield potential. 

  • Even though more tillers were observed in lower populations, tillers did not compensate for grain yield. However, the presence of tillers was not associated with reduced corn grain yield. 

  • Talk to your local Bayer representative to determine which corn product and seeding rate best fit your production system.







Dryland Corn Seeding Rates Effect on Product Yield - 2020



  • The objective of this study was to determine the seeding rate for multiple  brand corn products that resulted in the greatest yield potential at two separate dryland locations (Scott City, KS, and Sublette, KS). 



LocationScott City, KS
Sublette, KS 
Soil TypeSilt loam
Silt loam
Previous CropCorn

Planting Date4/28/20
Harvest Date10/13/20
Potential Yield          
Seeding Rate         
12K, 16K, 20K, 24K 
12K, 16K, 20K, 24K     

  • The study compared yield from 17 corn products planted at four seeding rates under dryland conditions.
  • Each treatment was replicated four times.
    • Fourteen Bayer corn products, and three competitor products were used ranging in relative maturities (RM) from 100-RM to 114-RM.
    • The four seeding rates used were: 12,000, 16,000, 20,000, and 24,000 seeds/acre.
    • The two locations of this study were Scott City, KS and Sublette, KS.
  • Weeds were controlled as needed.
  • Total shelled weight, test weight, and moisture were collected to calculate yield.


  • There was a significant interaction between product and seeding rate in this study. 
  • There was no seeding rate or corn product that consistently produced the highest average yields at either location (Figures 1 and 2). However, 14 of the 17 corn products had higher average yields with the 16,000, 20,000, or 24,000 seeds/acre seeding rates compared to the 12,000 seeds/acre seeding rate at both locations.
  • For this trial, overall average yields were higher at the Sublette, KS location compared to the Scott City, KS location due to more rainfall at Sublette, KS during critical times of the growing season (Figures 1 and 2).
image Figure 1. Average yield of corn products grown at multiple seeding rates under dryland conditions in Scott City, KS (* indicates a competitor product).
image Figure 2. Average yield of corn products grown at multiple seeding rates under dryland conditions in Sublette, KS (* indicates a competitor product).



  • Dryland corn production can be challenging in tough, water stressed environments. In this dryland test, corn product yields were highly variable across seeding rates and locations. The testing indicated that using a seeding rate of 12,000 seeds/acre can be considered but higher yields were obtained across most of the corn products when using a seeding rate of 16,000 seeds/acre or more.  
  • Talk to your local Bayer representative to determine which product and seeding rate best fits your production system.







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