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Corn Spotted in After Drown-out Much Wetter at Harvest

Corn Spotted in After Drown-out Much Wetter at Harvest
Some areas received too much rain at wrong times this year.

The story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears might explain what Indiana farmers are seeing this fall. For some the amount of rain and spacing of the rain during the season was just right. This year that might be the majority. But for others there was too little rain when corn needed it to finish grain fill. And for yet others, there was too much rain early in the season, especially in areas prone to flooding.

Green but good: These very late-planted areas spotted into a field still yielded well, although not nearly as well as the rest of the field.

One farmer who let me ride his combine in southern Indiana replanted a field by a creek three times this spring. Normally his best, most productive land, it flooded out the first two times. After the third planting, some of it flooded out again. But since it was already June, he spotted in corn rather than replant the whole field.

Related: How Late Can You Re-plant Drowned Corn Fields?

The spots that were spotted in were obvious at harvest. The stalks still had green foliage and the moisture reading on the combine monitor would jump up several points. Fortunately more of the field survived the third planting than didn't survive it and had to be replanted yet again.

What was surprising was that the yield, while substantially less than more mature corn around it, was still more than 150 bushels per acre. Obviously, a cool summer and rain at the right times during the rest of the season helped it produce corn, even though it got off to a much later start and was still green even in late October.

This may raise the question – does it pay to spot in corn or not after spring flooding that extends into June? Even at $3 per bushel corn, it's pretty easy to figure out that 150 bushels per acre is a lot better than blank areas of the field at harvest, even with the somewhat higher drying costs caused by extra moisture in the latest-planted areas.

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