9/7 Corn Update

Corn Update:


Silage is Soon Upon Us!!!!! – Call us to cook samples if you are starting up and want to know what the moisture level is at.

  • The pith this year is not water soaked and is more like a “packing peanut” than a river. Because of this the plant is dryer than it looks visually. We need to make sure we are not waiting too long to chop silage this year.
  • Milk line may vary across the field or in the same ear itself with ½ milk on butt of ear and ¼ near the top. This is common this year with the drought and field variance


We provided an update on the rootworm findings this summer from Marcus and Nate.  This is a serious problem.  We’ve talked about it all summer and it has only gotten worse.  We’ve covered what you can do for prevention as we head into 2022.  All Qrome products for 2022 will come standard with Poncho 1250 seed treatment.  We talked about the benefits at the meeting of enhanced protection of the roots and increased scores with that treatment.



Fields are going backwards.  We expect that this time of the year, but the extra moisture is really making diseases show up.  I was asked before lunch if disease is really showing up and I had not seen much mid-week last week.  But getting back into some fields later today, even some that had been sprayed, we were able to find tar spot, gray leaf spot, eyespot, and northern corn leaf blight.  Some of this pressure will take bushels off the top end yield.  Fields that are staying clean should have an advantage these last few weeks of grain fill on fuller season products.

We also found crown rot today.  This has taken a while to show up (since it has been dry), but it is out there now.  Look for plants that appear to be dead and brown with green neighbors around them.  Split the stalk and look for a dark lesion filling the crown of the plant.  Sometimes this is referred to as PMD or premature death but many root rots and stalk diseases cause premature death.


We found the first black-layered kernels today in the new P9489AM hybrid in our plot.  This is only one day later than 2016 and one day earlier than last year.  If we can continue with the nice sunny days with low humidity I would expect some of the hybrids we see with good kernel depth shine again this year.  Certain products back a lot of starch into the kernels on days like today, and that really helps their yield.  Another 10 days like today will help yields on those products still around ½ milk line.

Lodged Corn:

There are variable levels of corn affected by the wind and we covered those previously.  Getting after this corn early will be a big benefit.  The more rains and wind we get, the closer to the ground it will get and the harder it will be the pick it up.  Check these weekly for black layer and plan to harvest closer to 25%.  A good idea may be to get some of the wind damaged areas prior to starting soybeans.  Two of the last three years we’ve had quite a few people start corn before soybeans and all too often the comment is “This yield monitor must be way off, the yield was a lot better 2 weeks ago when we left this field than it is now!!”

Taking corn at 25% when you can let it dry in the field to 19% or 20% may seem crazy, but consider a couple things:

    • Phantom Yield Loss – We did this for three years and still can’t explain where the bushels went.  We always had more bushels at higher moisture levels and it was still a breakeven to take it wet vs. let it field dry.  https://www.agweb.com/news/crops/farm-journal-test-plots/farm-journal-test-plots-phantom-lurks-your-corn-fields
    • Similar to the article about phantom yield loss – the cost to dry when the air temp is much lower.  Consider a day like today – 75 degrees with low humidity – it wouldn’t take as much LP as it will when it’s 40 degrees some night (or colder) in late October / early November.
      1. Think of this like planting.  We always start planting a little earlier than we should, but we know if we get a few days too early, it’s better than a lot of days too late.  Harvest can be the same way if the weather doesn’t cooperate the entire time.