Corn harvest around Indiana really began to pick up last week, and high moisture levels remain a concern. Mike Silver from Kokomo Grain told HAT that receipts at their elevator in Kokomo were averaging around 24% moisture coming out of the field for a three-day stretch last week.
Purdue Extension Corn Specialist Bob Nielsen says if you’re waiting for the crop to dry in the field, you might be making a big mistake.
“I think it’s a big risk for people to leave corn out any longer than necessary. I think, unfortunately, some are going to have to bite the bullet and simply harvest this wet corn and spend the money to dry it or take the discounts at the elevator. I think the risk of this corn going down badly if we get a storm over the next three weeks or so is high enough that I think it warrants being pretty aggressive on harvesting.”
Nielsen added that once we get out into November, it’s far more common that we get no drying versus some drying.
“Even if we’re lucky, even if we can get .25% per day, that’s four days to dry at 1 point. And if you’re trying to get it from 30% down to 20%, that’s 40 days. That’s putting you well out beyond Thanksgiving.”
Stalk health is also a major concern. Nielsen continues to encourage farmers to walk their fields to help make a plan.
“Start evaluating stalk health, and maybe doing a bit a triage, and prioritize which fields are at high risk for windstorm damage, which fields have good stalk health, and make that part of your harvest planning. Strive to get out those weak fields earlier to avoid them going down badly in a storm.”
Major winds took corn down in Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, and other western states this past week. There were even some farmers reporting downed corn in Western Indiana on social media.