Farm Progress

Final results announced for 2016 Crop Watch project

Crop Watch: Final yield and top winners named in contest.

Tom Bechman, Editor, Indiana Prairie Farm

November 23, 2016

3 Min Read

The Crop Watch '16 project is in the books. This series followed one cornfield closely all season, hopefully providing readers tips about what to look for in their fields based on what showed up in this one. The field was located in central Indiana.

Dave Nanda, crop consultant for Seed Consultants Inc., Washington Courthouse, Ohio, followed the progress of the field all season. Seed Consultants sponsored this year’s Crop Watch project, including the seed awarded to the top three winners in the yield estimation contest.


“This field was a nightmare for the farmer, but a source of lots of information for someone like me who was trying to study how the crop reacted to various conditions,” Nanda says.

Field summary

The 20-acre field was planted April 27. That turned out to be the day not to plant in 2016. Of course, no one knew that at the time. The weather turned much cooler and wetter than predicted for nearly three weeks after planting.

The stand was acceptable in most of the field, but weak in spots, Nanda recalls. The farmer chose to leave the stand while some neighbors tore up their fields planted the same day. Instead, he spotted in an earlier hybrid in the weaker spots.

In the end, a good portion of the corn that was spotted in contributed to yield, Nanda believes. Where the original stand was better, some of what was planted later became weeds and contributed little, if any, to final yield.


“Gray leaf spot and southern rust came in late,” Nanda observes. “These diseases came in so late that, in most years, they wouldn’t affect yield. This year they came in so hard that they may have affected yield some in this field, and definitely affected yield in many fields located farther south.”

When the dust cleared after harvest, the farmer was glad he had left the original stand. It was difficult to determine if the original corn yielded more than what was spotted in, but he didn’t have the costs of a full replant.

Yield and winners

Bring out the big bass drum! And the final average yield at 15.5% moisture was … 184.1 bushels per acre.

Three farmers who guessed closest to the final actual yield will receive seed for 2017 from Seed Consultants.

The first place winner was Maurice Schumm, Willshire. His estimate was an amazing 184.3 bushels per acre, missing the mark by only 0.2 bushel.

David Fisher, London, took second with an estimate of 187.3 bushels per acre, off only 3.2.

Andy Russell, Urbana, captured third place with an estimate of 188.7 bushels per acre, off by 4.6 bushels. 

Congratulations to the winners, and thanks to everyone who followed along through the season. If you learned just one thing, you’re a winner, too!


Final results announced for 2016 Crop Watch project

TAKING THIRD: Andy Russell came third closest in
the yield estimation contest based on the final average
yield of the Crop Watch ’16 field. He also wins seed
from Seed Consultants.

About the Author(s)

Tom Bechman

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farm, Indiana Prairie Farmer

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