Video series explains how to inspect seed emergence

Good yields begin with proper seed emergence and stand, and to help producers understand how to check for both, the crops team at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach has developed a new YouTube channel with timely updates.

The first four videos focus on stand assessments, poor stand and uniformity, assessing emergence and conducting stand counts.

Each video is recorded in a recently planted field, with instruction by Mark Licht, assistant professor in agronomy and cropping systems specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Stand assessment is important every year and should be done for each field, according to Licht. He said it’s even more important this year, for those who planted early and experienced cold, wet conditions soon after that planting.

If problems are found, the producer may be able to correct the issue for this year, or if not, make a note of what needs to be corrected for next year.

Common issues include soil condition and weather at planting, in addition to insect and disease pressure, and various aspects of planter maintenance and performance.

The videos are all 10 minutes or less, with answers and suggestions offered by Licht as he evaluates seed rows and emergence. Stand assessment can feel redundant, he said, but is an important part of making the most out of every seed.

“I think it’s really critical to do because seed corn and soybean seed are very expensive, so we want every seed to come up and out of the ground, and be profitable,” he said.

Licht said the crops team is planning to post additional videos throughout the growing season, looking at root assessment and other plant health issues.

For the latest videos, follow the ISU Extension and Outreach - Crops Team YouTube channel. For more information, Licht can be reached at, or by phone at 515-294-0877.