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Field Dry Down Not Recommended This Year for Indiana Corn



Darrin Goebel
Darrin Goebel

The debate is on: should corn be harvested when wet and then dried down, or should growers let the corn stand in the field and dry down? With much of Indiana corn still in the 20% moisture range, growers are opting to let the crop stay in the field longer rather than pay high fuel prices for dry down. But Darren Goebel, DuPont Pioneer agronomist, says this is a year to not opt for field drying, due primarily to stalk rot and ear mold issues, “If you go out in your corn fields right now and give the stalks a gentle push, that corn will go over.” He told HAT this year’s wet weather was conducive to anthracnose and other stalk rot diseases, “It does not matter what brand hybrid you have, you are going to have stalk issues.” He said ear molds are also a serious issue this year.


Thus Goebel says farmers should keep the grain dryers as full as possible.”From an agronomic perspective and an economic perspective, I would keep the dryer as full as possible — all the time.” Over the weekend, much of Central and Southern Indiana had heavy rains, up to 6 inches in some areas. This put many corn fields at risk. Goebel said he had not received any reports of downed corn as of Monday afternoon, but he worried a good strong windstorm would do a lot of damage this year. 


Goebel says corn yields in Southern Indiana have been looking very good. He says soybean yields are also setting records in some areas and urges growers to not let the beans stay in the field too long, “We have some reports of 60 bpa and even 70 bpa soybean yields, but with this weather it could lead to a lot of shattering if the crop stands in the field a while.” He urges farmers to move as quickly through this harvest as possible.


Hear the complete report with Darren Goebel on the DuPont Pioneer Agronomy page on this web site and on the HAT app for smartphones and tablets.