The trucks should be rolling by now, weather permitting, bringing seed corn into DuPont Pioneer's plant at Tipton and other locations, and into seed plants operated by other companies in Indiana. Harvest began about two weeks ago in extreme southern Indiana, with processing underway soon after Labor Day at the Pioneer processing plant near Worthington.
Reports from farmers who grow seed say that the crop looks good in the field, depending upon the inbred. In fact one farmer showed us ears of corn from a seed field that were better than anything he harvested in 2013 on commercial fields that weren't irrigated. His contract pays up to a maximum yield, and he expects to hit the maximum this year. He grows for another company besides Pioneer.
When things are rolling at the Tipton plant, manager Brandon Helvey will be working with farmers to line up which hybrids are to come in on which days. The plant runs three lines per day. However, there are 50 hybrids to be processed through the plant in a short window this fall.
Some of the corn for the Tipton plant was contracted through the Plymouth plant farther north in Indiana. Most of their growers grow on irrigated land. The growers around Tipton don't typically have irrigation.
When in full swing, 23,000 bushels per day can come into the Tipton plant. It's dried on the ear in huge custom-made drying chambers before being shelled once it is down to 12.5% moisture.
While seed should be plentiful in most hybrids, the grades could be different than a year ago. Last year there were lots of rounds because with only scattered kernels on cobs, there was no competition to rein in the size of kernels. This time Helvey is expecting more flats since yields will be better and ears pollinated more normally than last year.