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Corn Wetter Than Expected

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Corn yields coming in across the state have been average to above average. Purdue Extension Corn Specialist Bob Nielsen told HAT in the latest Purdue Crop Chat podcast that he’s been pleasantly surprised by yields in their research trials after a very dry August and September.

He is hearing from farmers, and experiencing himself, that corn harvested is wetter than expected.

“I’m sort of struggling personally deciding whether that’s real or some sort of an optical illusion because you know, after all, it is only the first couple days of October. I think it is probably fair to say that as we look back into September, while we had a lot of sunny days and a lot of low humidity days, which are good for drying, I don’t think the temperatures were quite as warm as they could have been to facilitate rapid drying.”

Nielsen says farmers might be spending more money drying their corn than they thought they were.

“We’ve got fields now, it’s early October, they’re still running in the maybe mid-twenties that are yet to be harvested, and, frankly, once you get out to early October the typical drying rate per day begins to drop off pretty rapidly anyway, so we really can’t expect more than a quarter to half a point dry down per day if the weather’s decent and then if we get in the cool spells like we’ve had the last couple days you just don’t get much drying at all. So, it could continue to be a slow drying harvest season.”

Nielsen is still concerned about stalk quality in drought-stressed fields. He’s also found another concern from pulling ear samples.

“It seems like the connection of the cob to the ear shank is not terribly strong in some cases and that worries me in terms of ear drop with either severe wind or if folks simply delay getting in the fields to the point where once they get into them, the physical action of the combine itself knocks ears off. So, again, that’s something else I would encourage people to look at when they’re walking their fields is how strongly attached are these ears.”

Hear more from Nielsen and Extension Soybean Specialist Shaun Casteel in the latest Purdue Crop Chat podcast.