Measuring Performance Potential
You don’t have to wait until harvest to know how well your seed performed. You can do some early season evaluation to gauge yield potential. Net Effective Plant Stand (NEPS) is a simple, yet valuable, technique for checking stand quality shortly after emergence. The process involves flagging plants that don’t conform to the rest of the stand and determining whether the failure was a result of skips, double plants or delayed emergence.
Mitch Snyder, AgVenture Yield Specialist at McKillip Seeds, uses NEPS as an opportunity to grade how well he and his growers are doing as a team. “We challenge our growers to plant with impeccable standards,” Snyder said. “NEPS lets us see how well the seed emerged. How well was the seedbed prepared? How did the planter perform? The end result is judging the uniformity of the stand.”
NEPS is a good indicator of the whole planting exercise, as well as a good predictor of final yield or full harvestable ears. AgVenture believes that 75 percent yield is determined the day the planter leaves the field.
When we’re in the field flagging plants, we look for opportunities to improve. Tweaking a few things, like residue management, planter depth or planter speed can make a big difference in producing uniform ear size up and down the rows.