Green Corn Still Dominates Countryside

Cool weather putting brakes on corn maturity.

Officials say they will run demonstrations at the Farm Progress Show this week. However, they also note that there are at least some fields that were originally intended for harvest this week that just won't be ready.


When the show first decided to move the dates to late August or early September from late September or early August, about a month earlier, they experimented with 70 to 75 day corn; to be sure some corn would be ready for demonstrations. Now they perfect that o believing they can grow more corn with fuller-season corn for the area, although still shorter season compared to what farmers would on their own.


Unfortunately, Mother Nature hasn't cooperated this year. Record cool July temperatures across the eastern and central Corn Belt have really delayed the progress of corn. While it may be good for yield, it's certainly not good for corn development.


As of last Wednesday, one field was barely past milk stage. That field likely wont be harvest. However, their enough land with 96 day corn that is dented and should be available for harvest. Plans are to run enough each of the three days so they can conduct tillage demonstrations after corn harvest.


Demonstrations weren't possible in Boone, Iowa last year because the summer was again cool, and crops there were even farther behind than those this year. That crop was also planted late. Plus, Boone, Iowa is located considerably farther north than Decatur, Ill. The fields in Decatur slated for combining were planted April 26 this year.


About all you can do to determine when your own corn is ready to run is pull a few years and take moisture samples periodically. This is actually a year where it may pay to have a little bit of disease present o help speed up dry down once corn is mature, notes Dave Nanda, a Farm Progress crops consultant and plant breeder,


Last year in Corn Illustrated plots he observed that hybrids sprayed with fungicides stayed darker green, and several points wetter than the same hybrids grown in other fields that were not sprayed with fungicides.

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