Purdue Extension Corn Specialist Dr. Bob Nielson told farmers at the 2018 Crops Field Day at Purdue last week that if they aren’t ready for harvest, they need to get there and fast.
“I would suspect by the middle of September we’re going to have the lion’s share of the crops mature around the state which is early.”
Harvest is already underway throughout some of the state. Nielson says if the weather holds, we could see a ramping up of harvest progress in Central and Southern Indiana over the next couple of weeks. Nielson has been walking fields recently and has discovered some weakness in corn stalks.
“Some of it is because the cannibalization of the stalk tissue to fill the grain. Some of it might be early beginnings of stalk rots. It might make sense for some growers to target fields for an early harvest just to avoid the risk, or minimize the risk, of it going down on them with a storm that would come later down the road.”
Indiana’s average corn yield was forecast at 186 bushels per acre in the August USDA Crop Production report. Nielson said he would guess that we’re certainly no higher, and he wouldn’t be surprised if we come in a bit lower based on an up and down August.
“We’ve had some excessively high temperatures. We’ve still had areas of the state that have been too dry during this important grain fill period. We’ve had our usual ramping up of some of our late season foliar diseases and so they always certainly take a toll on photosynthesis in these crops. We’ve had some nitrogen deficiencies show up late season. We’ve still had areas that have had heavy rainfall events with ponding and wet feet on the root system.
USDA will release the September Crop Production report on Wednesday, the 12th.