The manager of the DuPont Pioneer production plant at Worthington, Ind., reported late last week that seed harvest was already underway in his area of southwestern Indiana. His plant was harvesting certain hybrids, and beginning the production process.
When Pioneer officials planned the 75th anniversary of the Tipton production location earlier in the year, they picked a date that they thought would be perfect to showcase the plant in operation. Instead, when the celebration was held last week, harvest was still a few days away. Later planting and cool weather at key times delayed seed harvest compared to what they had projected earlier. Visitors were still impressed by the updated facility, complete with a new building added this year to specialize in coating seed with seed treatment.
Brandon Helvey, a production agronomist how helps place hybrids with growers in part of Indiana, says that the start date for picking seed corn varies somewhat with the hybrid being produced. Most have hit black layer or very near black layer before the seed corn is harvested on the cob. If the seed has not hit black layer, it finishes the process after it is picked and processing begins, he says.
Part of his job is to coordinate picking of various hybrids and matching them up with production schedules at the plant. The Tipton plant can receive three different hybrids at a time. Average moisture of incoming seed is about 35%, he notes. The corn is dried in large dryers, on the ear, to 12.5%, before it is shelled.
Reports from Helvey and from growers for other companies indicate that it appears seed volume will be good this year. Most seed is grown under irrigation, except for the Tipton plant, in Pioneer's case. Even seed not grown under irrigation is expected to yield well this year.