# Corn Harvest 'Weighs' on the Mind of this Indiana Farm MomCorn Harvest 'Weighs' on the Mind of this Indiana Farm Mom

A bushel of corn weighs 56 pounds, unless it doesn't wet weight, dry weight, test weight and what they all mean

Jennifer Campbell 1, Indiana Prarie Farmer Contributor

September 22, 2014

One of my favorite things to say is, "I have been in the midst of production agriculture my whole life." Yet, I sometimes wonder if what I actually know about it wouldn't fill up a five-gallon bucket.

Take for instance around harvest time: test weight, dry weight, wet weight, straight out of the field weight, scale weight – and men thought women were obsessed with weight! Each means something different, is always a different number and always affects the bushels per acre figure.

I made my husband (and Google!) explain each one to me, kind of like my own little Corn Measurements for Dummies.

Wet Weight: The weight of the corn straight out of the field, unadjusted for moisture. Example: 100 pounds of 30% corn has 30 pounds of water in it; 100 pounds of 15% corn only has 15 pounds of water. When you dry corn from 30% to 15%, you evaporate 15 pounds of water from that 100 pounds of corn.

Dry weight: Measured after corn been shrunk or dried. Now the 100 pounds of corn that was 30% wet won't weigh 100 pounds, it will actually require more corn to have 100 pounds.

Shrink: This is the difference between the wet weight and the dry weight of the corn, or the amount that it shrank. Again, drying 100 pounds of 30% corn down to 15% will evaporate 15 pounds of water, therefore leaving you with only 85 pounds of corn.

Test Weight: "Now that's a hornet's nest," my husband said. Test weight is one the most misunderstood and contentious points in farming. Basically it is density or measurement of weight in a bushel basket. A five-gallon bucket of feathers doesn't weigh as much as a five-bucket of pea gravel, but it is the same quantity. The pea gravel just has a higher test weight.

I wonder if the test weight of my bucket of knowledge has gone up now? When it comes right down to it, I still just want to know the final bpa per field, that seems to make sense to me!

The opinions of Jennifer Campbell are not necessarily those of Indiana Prairie Farmer or the Penton Farm Progress Group.