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Slow start to harvest

Kyle Stackhouse View of corn field with two corn varieties at different stages of maturity
UNEVEN DRYDOWN: Despite efforts to match hybrid maturities when splitting the planter, Kyle Stackhouse is seeing corn mature unevenly in fields.
Corn yields prove to be slightly disappointing as the crop continues to mature slowly

This week was another low productivity week. I think both dad and I are running out of patience for this crop to mature. However, only a couple of neighbors have made any substantial progress, most of the area is in the same situation as us.

Monday, we picked corn most of the day. That finished up the early corn that was ready. It also was enough to fill our quick ship contracts due this week.

Moisture was down about 4 points from early last week but was still running around 28%. We dried the corn Monday and Tuesday, and all the corn was at its destinations by Thursday afternoon. We were slightly disappointed as yields appeared to be near APH (actual production history) trendline.

It seems as though all the corn is running a couple hundred GDUs (growing degree units) behind, and some seems to be further behind than that. GDUs are a measurement based on daily high and low temperature. Though corn hybrid maturity is given in days, the practical way to measure when a corn should mature is by GDUs. GDUs are also used to tell when a specific hybrid is expected to tassel. Most of the time, this information can be found in the product guide.

The last few years, we have been loading different hybrids into each half of the planter. This is a management tool to spread risk. Splitting the planter is a popular and easy way to accomplish this. Last year it worked out fine, but this year not so much. Though we used the different company’s product guides, and did our best to match up maturities, we didn’t do very well.

Right now, we have several fields where one hybrid is ready to pick and the other is not. We made a ten mile move Thursday after I pulled hand samples. Apparently, I failed to sample one of the hybrids. I cancelled truck drivers, and we moved back home Friday morning and parked the combine.

I think by Monday we will have some soybeans ready to run. Hopefully that will keep our mind off of corn for a few days and it is able to dry down. We could really use a stretch of Indiana summer type weather!

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Farm Progress. 

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