Effect of Increased Seeding Rate on Corn Yield in the Eastern Corn Belt



  • Compare yield performance of Pioneer® brand hybrids at a standard grower-selected seeding rate and a seeding rate 5,000 seeds/acre above the grower-selected rate.
  • Generate information to help better manage newer genetic platforms that perform well at higher plant populations.


Study Description

Locations:  46 locations in OH, MI and PA

Map - Agronomy research locations - MI/OH/PA


Replications:  1 per location

Pioneer® Hybrid Families:   
        P0210 (10 locations)
        P0832 (11 locations)
        P0965 (17 locations)
        P1184 (12 locations)
        P1498 (10 locations)

Seeding Rates:  Grower-selected standard rate
                               5,000 seeds/acre over grower-selected rate

Planting Rate Ranges:

  • Grower-selected standard:   24,000 - 35,000 seeds/acre 
                                                        Average = 32,500 seeds/acre
  • 5,000 over standard:               30,000 - 41,000 seeds/acre 
                                                        Average = 36,400 seeds/acre


  • At locations with moderate to high yield levels, there tended to be a positive economic response to increased seeding rates.
  • Grower-selected standard seeding rates tended to have an advantage at yield levels below 100 bu/acre.
  • All hybrid families tested had an average positive economic response to increased seeding rates, except for near parity yield of P1184 family.
  • Results indicate that current standard seeding rates in the eastern Corn Belt are not high enough to provide maximum economic return in many cases.
  • This study will be continued in 2013.

Corn yields with standard and increased seeding rates.

Average Yield Across All Locations

Seeding Rate Yield (bu/acre)
Standard 143.7
5,000 over 148.8

Overall 5.1 bu/acre advantage at
$7.50/bu corn and
$3.00 cost/1,000 seeds =
$23.25/acre average yield advantage.

PIONEER® brand products are provided subject to the terms and conditions of purchase which are part of the labeling and purchase documents. 2012 data are based on average of all comparisons made in 46 locations through Nov. 20, 2012. Multi-year and multi-location is a better predictor of future performance. Do not use these or any other data from a limited number of trials as a significant factor in product selection. Product responses are variable and subject to a variety of environmental, disease and pest pressures. Individual results may vary.