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Rain shuffles corn hybrid choices

Between the Fencerows: With rain delaying planting, timing for early, mid- and fuller season crops changes.

Kyle Stackhouse, Blogger

May 10, 2024

2 Min Read
Field with irrigation
Kyle Stackhouse

Here’s how planting is going.

  • We planted Saturday, Monday afternoon, Tuesday morning, and Wednesday afternoon.

  • It rained Saturday night (.15-.3”, Tuesday afternoon (.15-.5”), and pretty much all-day Thursday (.9-1.4”).

A quick run of the acres says we’re just over 30% complete. Thursday’s rain likely has pushed any fieldwork into next week.

So we’re adjusting.

Which maturity to plant when?

I’ve flipped a couple of corn fields around, planting fuller season maturity and holding back mid-season hybrids in the event planting continues to be delayed. As the season gets later, planting earlier maturing hybrids will help keep harvest timing on schedule. In another 10 days, we will reconsider planting full season hybrids.

One thing I am not satisfied with is the amount of the early maturing corn we have in the ground, this may limit our early delivery/quick ship bushels this fall. Every time we are ready to go to those fields it rains again. Nonetheless, I would not be surprised if the weather turns on its head and we go through a dry spell soon. Crops can be put in the ground quickly.

Wheat is a grass and corn is a grass, right? This year, I’ve been a bit more intentional with the wheat crop trying to learn from its needs so we can make better decisions in the corn crop. We’ve been tissue testing regularly. The last couple of years, we’ve determined what is generally our ‘baseline’ fertility program. We’ve been adding to it and trying to do a better job making timely applications.

Learning with on-farm trials

We’re trying some new (to us) products. Somehow, I found the willpower to leave a test strip in each field. If you don’t farm, you don’t know how hard it is to leave some of the field untreated when you believe the treatment you are making will add value to your crop.

I told myself I would make up for the untreated strip by doing a 2x treated strip beside it! Not sure if that will work, but the 2x strip should also help answer the ‘how much’ question.

The other question a test strip may help answer is: Are you always able to quantify ‘moving the needle’ with a tissue test or visual examination?

We’ve applied some products but didn’t see a tangible difference in the tissue test results. Did the product not work, or did the plant not need that nutrient? These are some of the questions the yield will help answer.

About the Author(s)

Kyle Stackhouse


After graduating from Purdue University in 1999 with a degree in Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Kyle Stackhouse began farming in Plymouth, Ind., in northern Indiana. Kyle farms alongside his father Brad, not as an employee but as an owner who runs separate businesses in three counties in a 20-mile radius.  Kyle shares insight into day to day operations, current issues, and management of the family's mid-sized grain farm that specializes in NON-GMO and Identity Preserved crops.

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