Singulation study in Maize
Study Contact: Benard Ngwene, AGCO Agronomist, Africa.
The objective of this study was to show the advantage of good singulation in maize production.
During the 2018/2019 cropping season, maize yield was compared in a plot planted with good singulation (99%) to a similar plot planted with poor singulation simulation (about 81%) on the same field using the MF 9812 precision planter at the AGCO future farm in Zambia.
Overall grain yield was lower than average due to very low precipitation in this region during the 2018/2019 cropping season. Planting maize seeds with good singulation resulted in a 20% increase in grain yield (6.4 t/ha) over the field planted with poor singulation (5.3 t/ha).
The 20% yield increase was attributed to a better distribution of plants, which resulted in more uniform plant growth, less plant-to-plant competition, and improved nutrient uptake.
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Figure 1. Maize yield in tons/ha dry matter at harvest. Maize was planted with good and poor singulation and harvested at maturity
Figure 2. MF 9812 (12 row) precision planter at work at the AGCO future farm in Zambia.
Figure 3. Maize planted using the MF 9812 (12 row) precision planter with proper singulation.
Good singulation distributes seeds more evenly in the field, minimizes skips and doubles and ensures target plant population. A more even plant distribution also means better soil cover and preservation of moisture, that will be available for plant uptake.
RECOMMENDATIONS AND EQUIPMENT SOLUTIONS:
With the AGCO precision planter technology, you can plant maize with a singulation precision of more than 99%, achieving target plant population and more even distribution of plants in the field.
The maize singulation study showed a 1.1t/ha difference between proper and poor singulation. This equates to $154/ha revenue and it should take about 240ha to payback the cost of investment on an 8-row planter.
Assumptions: Average Price of maize – $140/t
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