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

Latest News
Greenleaf Technologies TADF03-D Dual Fan Nozzle
NozzlesSix Greenleaf Nozzles Approved For XtendiMax With Vapor…
February 22, 2017
Greenleaf Technologies has announced that six of its TurboDrop D Series nozzles have been approved for use with Monsanto’s XtendiMax Read More
Winter Wheat
Industry NewsTiger-Sul Hires Manitoba And Eastern Canada Account Man…
February 22, 2017
Tiger-Sul, a global leader in sulphur fertilizers and crop performance products, has announced that sales veteran Trevor Loewen has joined Read More
NFMS 17 Hagie Sprayer
Eric SfiligojThe Read From Louisville: Uncertain
February 22, 2017
By the time this column appears across the country, the annual Commodity Classic will be in full swing. This means Read More
SprayersApache 1000 Series Sprayer Earns 2017 EquipmentWatch Hi…
February 21, 2017
ET Works has been named a winner in the 2017 EquipmentWatch Highest Retained Value Awards program, the industry’s only award Read More
Measuring Bulk Tanks
StewardshipMeister Media Among 2017 Award Winners Presented By The…
February 21, 2017
The Pesticide Stewardship Alliance (TPSA) held its annual conference in San Diego, CA, earlier this month where three awards were Read More
John Reifsteck
CropLife 100GROWMARK’s Reifsteck Earns NCFC Director Of The Y…
February 21, 2017
GROWMARK Chairman of the Board and President John Reifsteck has earned the prestigious Director of the Year Award from the Read More
Roy Blunt
LegislationARA Recognizes Blunt, Heitkamp For Legislative Efforts …
February 17, 2017
Agricultural industry continues to face federal regulatory challenges. Thankfully, agriculture’s allies in the U.S. Senate stepped forward. The Agricultural Retailers Read More
LegislationThe Fertilizer Institute Commends Senate On Confirmatio…
February 17, 2017
The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) President Chris Jahn issued the following statement on the Senate confirmation of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Read More
Trump, Senate, Cabinet
LegislationBREAKING: Trump EPA Nominee Scott Pruitt Confirmed by S…
February 17, 2017
Scott Pruitt, who as Oklahoma’s attorney general spent years suing the Environmental Protection Agency over its efforts to regulate various Read More
ManagementFebruary Road Trip Edition
February 17, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss their recent visits to Indiana and Kentucky. Read More
Heritage Cooperative Finished Building Aerial
ManagementHeritage Cooperative, Agland Co-op Approve Merger
February 17, 2017
Agland Co-op and Heritage Cooperative stockholders have both approved the merger agreement between Agland Co-op and Heritage Cooperative. Now begins Read More
LegislationARA Fly-In: Ag Retail Descends on Capitol Hill, Lawmake…
February 15, 2017
More than 100 agricultural retailers, distributors and suppliers headed to Capitol Hill Tuesday morning for the Agribusiness Congressional Fly-in, according to a Read More
Untreated soybean seed Heartland Coop
Seed/BiotechMarrone Bio Innovations, Groundwork BioAg Bio-stacked M…
February 13, 2017
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. and Groundwork BioAg, Ltd have announced successful seed treatment field trials of the world’s first all-biological Read More
NL5000 With G5 Technology
SpreadersNew Leader Introduces NL5000 Dry Nutrient Applicator Wi…
February 13, 2017
New Leader, a division of Highway Equipment Company (HECO), has announced the next generation of spreading technology with the NL5000 Read More
Fertilizer Storage
Crop InputsThe State Of The Fertilizer Industry
February 9, 2017
He’s all hat, no horse.” It’s a humorous way of describing a person who tells a good story, but is Read More
CropLife 100Pinnacle Agriculture Agrees To Credit Agreement Amendme…
February 9, 2017
Pinnacle Operating Corp. has entered into an amendment (the “Amendment”) to its First Lien Credit Agreement that will provide for, Read More
ManagementUpdates on Upcoming Trips, Dow-DuPont, and the Des Moin…
February 9, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj review a few future travels, along with the latest on big company mergers and Read More
Championship Tractor Pull
EquipmentNational Farm Machinery Show Highlighted By Championshi…
February 9, 2017
The scream of monster engines, the stench of burning rubber and the ground-pounding vibrations of the country’s largest, loudest and Read More