Mid-July to early August is important any year to corn yield potential, and especially this year. Pollination is underway, with cool weather still the overall trend, but with a few hot days thrown in. Most areas have ample to excess moisture at this point.
Crop Watch 7/20: Disease works its way up the plant in Crop Watch field
That's the case in the Crop Watch field. If the field gets through the next two weeks in good shape, you may want to think about making your guess on Final yield.
You can enter the contest, sponsored in part by Seed Consultants, any time up until Sept.15. Use the entry form in your magazine, or email guesses with requested information on the form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
That information includes name, address, home and cell numbers and acreage grown of corn, soybeans and wheat. Only farmers who receive Indiana Prairie Farmer, Michigan Farmer or Ohio Farmer and farm in one of those states are eligible.
Separate awards are offered in each of the three states. First place in each state gets eight bags of Seed Consultants seed corn for 2016. Second place will receive six bags, and the third place winner will get four bags. One entry per person and per immediate household are allowed. Winners in the 2014 Crop Watch contest are not eligible.
Major threats right now, assuming pollination goes OK, are risk of diseases intensifying and the crop running out of nitrogen. Lesions are in the field, as high as the ear leaf in some cases, but are at minimal levels per leaf at this point. Some lower leaves are firing in parts of the field, indicating a nitrogen shortage.
Crop Watch 7/17: Spread in pollination between corn hybrids could help this field
Pollen shed appeared to be excellent. Many more pollen grains are shed than are ever needed, experts say. With two hybrids in the field and each pollinating a couple days apart, there should be an adequate amount of pollen in the field. Shoots are also out on both hybrids.