Harvest activity will begin to pick up steam this coming week across the state, but one of the first steps of harvest should be scouting your fields. Determining when to open a field for harvest is a critical decision each farmer makes. Brian Bush, agronomist with DuPont Pioneer, says scouting fields is a good step, “Checking fields now can be important. If we are not checking now, we are at risk of lodging.” He added that a few minutes today may save a grower from a big problem down the road.
With moisture levels running high this year, Bush says dry down is a key factor to consider when checking fields for harvest, “Pioneer has some great ratings for dry down, but it is still important to go to the field and check.” Bush said, with daytime highs or 75 degrees and overnight lows around 55 degrees, a crop will lose about 1/3 to 1/2 percent of moisture per day, “Before you decide to let it stand in the field another week to dry down, check your stalk strength. The last thing you want to do is have your crop go down while trying to save a few dollars on dryer gas.”
Bush warns that some hybrids can stand in a field longer than others and that the standability of a crop is a key factor to consider when making that harvest decision, “It does us no good to have a hybrid that yields well but you can’t get it into the head. Pioneer hybrids like P1105AM is a great yielding hybrid but should be targeted for early harvest because it has the risk of stalk lodging.”
Our harvest updates from Pioneer will continue next week. More details can be found on the agronomy page.