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Understanding Corn Seed Sizing

 

Understanding Corn Seed Sizing

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Corn Seed Sizing

  • When corn seed goes through the conditioning process, it is separated into fractions based on kernel size and shape creating uniformity.

    Fractions of seed corn in different kernel sizes averaged across leading Pioneer ® brand hybrid families in the northern U.S.

    Fractions of seed corn in different kernel sizes averaged across leading Pioneer ® brand hybrid families.
  • Kernel size (small, medium or large) and shape (round or flat) is determined primarily by the position of the kernels on the ear.
  • Seed size and shape can also vary by hybrid and weather conditions during seed production, including temperature and rainfall.
  • Small round kernels originate from the ear tip, flats from the middle and large round kernels from the butt end of the ear.
  • All kernel sizes from the same hybrid have the same yield potential.
    Seed Parent Ear
  • F denotes flat seed and R denotes round seed.
  • L denotes large seed and M denotes medium seed.
  • Precision design rounds and flats (PDR® seed and PDF® seed) reference specific sizes that are suitable to specific planter plates. The majority of the seed from an ear segregate into PDR seed and PDF seed fractions.

Impact of Seed Size

  • Kernel size has minimal effect on seed vigor, field emergence or final yield.
  • Seed is sized to maintain uniformity based on planter requirements.
  • The most important factor in corn yield is the choice of hybrid (genetics). Planting the right hybrid with the desired agronomic traits will provide the best overall yield results.

    Seed-related choices and their relative impact on corn grain yield.

    Seed-related choices and their relative impact on corn grain yield.
  • Nearly all kernel sizes can be successfully planted with all planter types. Additional adjustment may be required in some cases.

    Kernel size-plantability guidelines for air, vacuum, finger pick-up and plate-type planters.

    Kernel size-plantability guidelines for air, vacuum, finger pick-up and plate-type planters.
  • For the most precise recommendations, you can directly access information for individual seed batch numbers and your specific planter type with our Plantability Tool.
  • The Pioneer® Field360™ Plantability app easily scans a seed tag to provide planter setting recommendations, maximizing planter performance and seed-drop accuracy. This tool is available for iPad®, iPhone® and Android™ devices currently.

    How to Access the App

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The foregoing is provided for informational use only. Please contact your Pioneer sales professional for information and suggestions specific to your operation. Product performance is variable and depends on many factors such as moisture and heat stress, soil type, management practices and environmental stress as well as disease and pest pressures. Individual results may vary.