Later Harvest, Greater Yield Loss

Growers waiting to harvest their corn most likely won’t see a significant decrease in grain moisture, but run the risk of increased stalk lodging, moldy ears, and yield losses the longer corn sits in the fields.

Peter Thomison, an Ohio State University Extension corn agronomist, said that unfavorable weather might be keeping growers out of their fields, but they should harvest as promptly as possible.

“We have a fantastic crop out there with yields averaging above 200 bushels per acre in many fields. Why let that crop go down the tube waiting on grain to dry down, which is questionable at this late date?” says Thomison, who also holds an appointment with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. “Right now in many areas we have a crop that is standing well, exhibiting good plant integrity with stalks looking good and intact ear shanks. But there’s only one direction that plant health is going to go and that’s down. Is a farmer willing to let those yields decrease or accept higher drying costs?”

Thomison points to research he and his colleagues conducted a few years ago, evaluating the state of corn hybrids the longer they stayed in the field. What the researchers found was that the longer corn was left in the field, the more yield loss was experienced — an average of 11 percent between mid-November and mid-December.

“The results of the research suggest that corn can tolerate a harvest delay until mid-November without major yield losses, but after that is when things start falling apart,” Thomison says. “After mid-November harvest delays begin to exact a toll on corn left standing in the field. In some years, our data showed yield losses as low as 5 percent, but in other cases it was as high as 24 percent ”

Thomison says that yield losses are closely associated with stalk lodging, especially with hybrids that are sensitive to stalk rots. Another major concern with leaving corn in the field too long is grain quality. Ears subjected to prolonged wet conditions can turn moldy, potentially contaminating grain with mycotoxins that are harmful to livestock.

“In extreme situations, kernels can start sprouting,” Thomison says, “which adversely affects marketability of the grain.”

According to the Ohio Agricultural Statistics Service, 76 percent of Ohio’s corn crop has been harvested, behind last year as well as the five-year average. Thomison says that farmers either can’t harvest their corn because of unfavorable field conditions or are waiting for the corn to dry down further.

“Perhaps the most striking finding about the research we conducted was that we didn’t see a significant decrease in grain moisture after mid-November," he says. "We saw grain moisture decrease 6.3 percent between mid-October and mid-December, but only 0.5 percent of that dry-down occurred after mid-November. If a grower is expecting to see a big jump in grain moisture change between now and mid-December, our studies would suggest otherwise. We even left corn in the field as late as March and didn’t see a drastic decrease in grain moisture.”

Thomison says that in recent years farmers have experienced good growing conditions that have allowed them to leave corn in the field longer than they probably should.

“But this is probably not the year to do be doing that,” Thomison says.

The last time growers faced delayed harvest issues on this scale was in 1992, when cool, wet conditions in the fall kept some growers out of their fields until that winter.
 

Leave a Reply

Featured Stories
Spreaders17 Fertilizer Spreaders For 2015
March 25, 2015
Manufacturers shoot for versatility and accuracy in this year's crop of fertilizer spreaders. Read More
Crop InputsWorld Health Organization Report Contradicts Scientific Findings On Glyphosate
March 23, 2015
A new report from the World Health Organization has classified glyphosate with a “2A” rating as a probable carcinogen, a Read More
HerbicidesMARCH MADNESS: Industry Rallies Around Glyphosate Safety Amid Troubling Report
March 20, 2015
A newly published report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies the herbicide glyphosate as a "2A-rated possible carcinogen" and the ag industry responds by circling the wagons. Read More
Chuck Gates, Ohio CCA of the Year
ManagementOABA Honors 2015 Certified Crop Adviser Of The Year
March 16, 2015
Chuck Gates, of Tiffin, OH, has been named the 2015 Certified Crop Adviser of the Year by the Ohio Certified Crop Adviser Board and will receive $1,500 provided by DuPont Pioneer. Read More
Top 100 Articles
CropLife 100BRANDT Commemorates National Ag Day
March 20, 2015
The Illinois agriculture community gathered at BRANDT global headquarters on March 18 to celebrate National Ag Day behind this year's theme Sustaining Future Generations. Read More
Wheat Growers, North Central Farmers Elevator Pursue Merger
CropLife 100Wheat Growers, North Central Farmers Elevator Pursue Merger
March 3, 2015
Two CropLife 100 retailers — South Dakota Wheat Growers (ranked No. 11) and North Central Farmers Elevator (No. 19) — have entered into a Letter of Intent to unify the two companies into a newly named cooperative. Read More
Growmark Group
CropLife 100GROWMARK In 2015: Back, To The Future
March 2, 2015
The nation’s third largest ag retail organization is simultaneously moving forward while remembering its past. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Expands Sanders Brand In The South
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle has acquired Hopkins Seed and Chemical in Qulin, MO, which expands the company's Sanders brand to nine Southern states. Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Launches New Providence Agriculture Location In Indiana
February 27, 2015
Pinnacle Agriculture Holdings — ranked No. 6 on the CropLife 100 — has established a new retail location in New Castle, IN, which will operate as part of Pinnacle's Providence Agriculture brand. Read More
Carl Casale of CHS
CropLife 100Cooperative CHS Returns $518 Million To Owners
February 23, 2015
The 2015 cash return to owners is based on CHS net income of $1.1 billion, the company's second highest on record. Read More
Latest News
FungicidesSyngenta Suing Willowood Over Azoxystrobin Fungicide
March 27, 2015
Syngenta announced today that it has sued agrochemical maker Willowood, LLC., for patent and copyright infringement, as well as unfair Read More
ManagementRetail Week: The Future Of Mycogen Seeds; The 4Rs At Na…
March 27, 2015
Editors Eric Sfiligoj and Matt Hopkins discuss recent trips, including a look at the future of Mycogen Seeds at Dow Read More
Eric SfiligojMonsanto Hears The WHO
March 27, 2015
Another challenge to the safety of glyphosate, and the responses from supporters and opponents, calls to mind a classic Dr. Seuss story. Read More
Industry NewsMonty’s Plant Food Expands Sales Team
March 27, 2015
Monty’s Plant Food Company, a leader in natural soil enhancement and  plant fertility products, has hired Andrew Bullock as a Read More
Crop InputsSyngenta Louisiana Plant Poised For 2015 Production
March 26, 2015
As the 2015 planting season gets underway, growers across the country will need crop protection products to combat pests and Read More
Lake Erie Nutrient Stewardship
LegislationOhio Lawmakers Finalize Phosphorus Restrictions
March 25, 2015
State lawmakers on Wednesday finalized new rules designed to curb toxic algal blooms on Lake Erie, calling the regulations a major step forward in addressing the problem. Read More
Spreaders17 Fertilizer Spreaders For 2015
March 25, 2015
Manufacturers shoot for versatility and accuracy in this year's crop of fertilizer spreaders. Read More
Industry NewsMonty’s Hires Mid-South Product Consultant
March 25, 2015
Monty's Plant Food Co. has hired Matt Woodring as a Product Consultant for portions of Central Kentucky and Tennessee.    Read More
StewardshipMapShots Integrates With DriftWatch
March 23, 2015
Growers and agricultural providers using AgStudio FARM and AgStudio PRO can now view vital information about specialty crops and apiaries through a recent integration with the DriftWatch Specialty Crop Site Registry from FieldWatch, Inc. Read More
Crop InputsWorld Health Organization Report Contradicts Scientific…
March 23, 2015
A new report from the World Health Organization has classified glyphosate with a “2A” rating as a probable carcinogen, a Read More
Eric SfiligojSeed Treatment Stays Necessary
March 20, 2015
Grower-customers looking to scale back spending in 2015 won’t consider seed treatment, say experts. Read More
HerbicidesMARCH MADNESS: Industry Rallies Around Glyphosate Safet…
March 20, 2015
A newly published report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies the herbicide glyphosate as a "2A-rated possible carcinogen" and the ag industry responds by circling the wagons. Read More
ManagementRetail Week: Precision survey, a technology acquisition…
March 20, 2015
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sflilgoj discuss recent travel, the upcoming precision adoption survey, and an unusual sighting at a Read More
CropLife 100BRANDT Commemorates National Ag Day
March 20, 2015
The Illinois agriculture community gathered at BRANDT global headquarters on March 18 to celebrate National Ag Day behind this year's theme Sustaining Future Generations. Read More
Crop InputsBioSafe Launching TerraGrow Soil Inoculant
March 20, 2015
TerraGrow is a blend of beneficial bacterial and fungal spores and nutrients carefully designed to promote healthier soil and crops. Read More
Winter Wheat
AdjuvantsMax Systems Debuts New Adjuvant NanoRevolution 2.0
March 18, 2015
Added to a tank mix of glyphosate at the conservative rate of two to four ounces per acre, NanoRevolution 2.0 has proven effective in killing resistant weed species that had already had up to two applications of the leading glyphosate product. Read More
Photo credit: United Soybean Board/the Soybean Checkoff
Seed/BiotechAgnition Launches Microbial Catalyst Seed Treatment
March 18, 2015
Agnition it has launched Commence for Soybeans, a microbial catalyst seed treatment for soybeans that stimulates microbial activity for healthier soil and a superior growth environment. Read More
4R Certified, Nutrient Stewardship Council,
StewardshipTyler Grain & Fertilizer Now 4R Certified
March 18, 2015
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced Tyler Grain & Fertilizer Co. in Smithville, OH, has been added to Read More