Want to increase corn yield potential? Aim for increasing kernel numbers! Yield is a function of kernel number and kernel weight. The number of kernels per acre will vary based on other components including plants per acre, ears per plant, and kernels per ear. We discussed the proper seeding rates in an April 10Integrated Crop Management article, What is the best seeding rate for corn based on seed prices and yield level?. The number of ears per plant is primarily influenced by hybrid. Most hybrids grown in Iowa have one dominant ear, although some "prolific" hybrids are available that produce more than one ear per plant at normal seeding rates.
Iowa State University
Elmore, Roger W. and Abendroth, Lori, "To be determined: Ear row numbers and kernels per row in corn" (2006). Integrated Crop Management News. 1273.
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