Kentucky: Downed Corn May Force Early Harvest

To prevent any further yield loss to downed or damaged corn, now may be the time for these growers to begin the harvest, says Sam McNeill, University of Kentucky (UK) Extension agricultural engineer.

Even though Ike did not bring much rain to the state, its high winds caused a significant amount of crop damage. Under normal weather conditions, Iowa State University reports average annual harvest losses of about 6 percent. No official loss totals are in yet from last weekend’s storm, but some Extension agents in western Kentucky are predicting losses to be above average.

“In some cases, the damage looks worse than it really is, but in other instances, the damage is just as bad as it looks,” says Chad Lee, UK grains crop specialist.

Crops were hit the hardest in the Green River and Purchase areas of the state. In some fields, the entire crop is down. Hurricane strength winds of 75 mph were reported in Louisville, and gusts reached 50 mph in Lexington and Paducah, says Keys Arnold, UK staff meteorologist. While these are strong gusts, crop damage was exacerbated by weak cornstalks.

“Corn on the ground is the worst case scenario for any producer, and weak corn stalks only aggravate the problem,” McNeill says.

The majority of the state’s crop had matured enough to harvest before the storm hit, but producers left it in the field to dry naturally because with high fuel costs, it is more cost effective than drying in a bin.

Harvesting now will likely incur some drying costs, but those will likely outweigh the cost of further yield loss and crop damage.

“Liquefied petroleum is currently at $2.25 a gallon; so that cost translates into 4 cents per bushel for every point of moisture removed,” McNeill says. This means if corn is at 25 percent moisture and needs to dry down to 15 percent, it will cost the producer a total of 40 cents per bushel, he adds. Nationwide, average yield estimates are predicted to be at 150 bushels per acre. Therefore, the estimated total cost to dry an acre of corn down 10 points will be about $60. With corn at $5 per bushel, the drying costs amount to 12 bushels per acre, or roughly 8 percent of an average yielding crop.

With the downed corn, retailers need to remind producers to be prepared for a much slower harvest. Combine speeds should be around 3 mph. The combine operator manual is the best guide for adjustments to harvesting downed corn.

(Source: University of Kentucky)
 

Leave a Reply

Latest News
ManagementTrip Report, PSM R.I.P, and Ag’s Reaction to Federal Bu…
May 25, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about their recent travels, the end for Process Safety Management (PSM), and how Read More
Corn soil
LegislationARA Member Testifies Before Senate Ag Committee
May 25, 2017
Agricultural retailers stand on the front-lines of the American economy. As trusted advisors to America’s farmers, ag retailers are uniquely Read More
Young corn plants in soil
Crop InputsFortenza Insecticide Seed Treatment Receives EPA Regist…
May 25, 2017
Fortenza seed treatment insecticide from Syngenta has received registration approval from the U.S. EPA for use on corn and cotton Read More
ManagementFarm Market iD’s Agriculture Database Now Covers More T…
May 25, 2017
Farm Market iD, farmmarketid.com, has announced the release of its 2017 Annual Update of its farm and land database. The Read More
Food IT Fork-to-Farm
Precision AgThe Mixing Bowl Event Connects Technology, Food, and Ag…
May 24, 2017
For the fourth consecutive year, The Mixing Bowl presents FOOD IT, under the theme “Fork to Farm.” Action-oriented entrepreneurs, industry Read More
Photo credit: The United Soybean Board/The Soybean Checkoff.
Seed/BiotechKansas State University Researchers Find New Pathogens …
May 24, 2017
A single seed seems so simple. Put it in the ground, give it some care, and you’ve soon grown food. Read More
Soybean Field
HerbicidesNew Dicamba Herbicide Premix Coming Soon from Syngenta
May 24, 2017
Syngenta has announced the name of its new herbicide featuring the active ingredients of S-metolachlor and dicamba. Upon registration by Read More
Eric SfiligojMonsanto ‘Picks Its Battles’ by Nixing Deere Deal
May 23, 2017
Having been in the trade journalism game since the mid-1980s, I remember several watershed moments during my career. One of Read More
FungicidesSyngenta Launches New Seed Treatment Fungicide
May 22, 2017
Syngenta has announced the launch of PLENARIS seed treatment fungicide for the control of downy mildew in sunflower. PLENARIS contains Read More
Corn close up
Crop InputsMonsanto’s First HPPD Herbicide Garners EPA Appro…
May 19, 2017
Monsanto announced today that EPA has federally approved Harness MAX Herbicide, the first herbicide in the Monsanto portfolio to provide Read More
ManagementPrecision Planting Deal, China Developments, and Enviro…
May 18, 2017
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Dan Jacobs discuss the latest news on John Deere’s now dead deal for Precision Planting, China’s Read More
Soybean aphid leaf
InsecticidesMulti-state Research Reveals IPM Best Option for Treatm…
May 17, 2017
About 89.5 million acres of soybeans will be planted across the U.S. in 2017 — a record high, according to Read More
GROWMARK-2017-Interns
CropLife 100GROWMARK Names 2017 Summer Interns
May 16, 2017
Forty-two college students are exploring agricultural career opportunities this summer as GROWMARK interns. They are working at FS member cooperatives Read More
Migrant farm workers
LegislationTrump: Immigration Crackdown Won’t Impact U.S. Ag…
May 16, 2017
President Donald Trump said he would seek to keep his tough immigration enforcement policies from harming the U.S. farm industry Read More
Flooded corn in Indiana
FertilizerBoth Wet and Dry Conditions Threaten Nitrogen Loss
May 15, 2017
The weather is notoriously unpredictable, leading to challenges for planting, harvesting and applying the nitrogen (N) your corn crop needs. Read More
farmer Kip Tom
Precision AgAg Tech: On the Cusp of Something Big?
May 15, 2017
The investment and ag-tech sectors’ continuing courtship of agriculture, smoldering for three or four years now, was well in evidence at Read More
AGCO Ratliff featured
Eric SfiligojRemembering Robert Ratliff
May 15, 2017
With all the fast-paced happenings in agriculture this spring, with multiple mergers in the works and planting season in full Read More
Greg Musson, Gar Tootelian
ManagementOpinion: Shaking Your Perspective in Ag Retail
May 12, 2017
Some of you I’m sure have encountered our recently retired salesman extraordinaire, Dan Bellanger. He worked in the industry for Read More