Man, what a year. Floods, droughts, weeds, bugs and disease; you may have not dealt with them all at once, but it’s been a challenging year! As the days begin to draw shorter I’d like to take a minute and talk harvest goals.
Efficiency is pivotal during rocky economic times. Planning a harvest route may not make sense now, but understanding your crop at this point in time may prove instrumental to success.
Planting dates vary widely across growing areas. Harvest dates may not exactly coincide to planting this year. A quick stalk integrity assessment will tell a much better story. Lodged plants not only slow down harvest, they typically drop ears reducing yield. Disease isn’t the only factor determining stalk quality. Poorly drained farms, drought stressed farms, and hybrid reactions to those stresses have a dramatic effect on stalk health.
Drying may be an option this year to speed-up harvest. There has been research done over the years concerning “phantom” yield loss when corn is allowed to dry to 18% in the field. The consensus is about 0.6bu per percentage point loss is a good average. Now take into consideration that dryer ears shatter and have increased potential for head loss and the longer plants are left in the field prolongs the crops exposure to wet conditions that cause ear mold and kernel sprouts.
Keeping costs down will help maximize profits this fall. Having a plan and being ready to tackle the tough fields’ first will only increase profitability. With any problem there is a solution, reach out to your local Farm Nutrients representative to have a field assessment done. Have a safe and prosperous fall!