Despite a dry August, in their Crop Production report last week USDA still projects the Indiana corn crop at 186 bushels per acre and a record-high 178.5 bpa nationally.
Purdue Extension Corn Specialist Bob Nielsen says, “The potential has certainly been there. A lot of the fields have very good sized ears. Depending on where you are, sometimes that ear fill is not as good as it should be because areas that were extremely dry during pollination and I’ll say the first couple weeks after pollination, those are the fields that are showing some ear fill problems at the tip with maybe one or two inches of barren cob because of either pollination failure or kernel abortion in those first couple weeks after pollination.”
Nielsen says there will be plenty of variability this year, not just across the state, but within fields.
“This 186 bushels still is about six percent above the trend and even if the next reports come down a few more bushel, I think we’re still looking at probably no worse than trend yield in the state. So, that means there’s going to be a lot of good yielding fields but it’s going to be offset by fields in these drought areas of the state with, well I can’t even begin to hazard a guess as to what kind of yield losses there may be, but there’s going to be some significantly lower yields in these drought stressed areas.”
The 186 bpa estimate is up 17 bushels from 2019 but down 2 bushels from the August USDA Crop Production report. Nielsen adds that he wouldn’t be surprised if USDA shaves off more in their October report as the weather forecast the next few weeks remains dry.