Northern Indiana corn harvest is paused in many areas because of this week’s rains, but prior to the pause many farmers were at least running a few passes in their fields to be ready for the big push.
DEKALB Asgrow Technical Agronomist Jason Harmon, who covers the northern half of the state, says harvest was mostly off to a great start, on the heels of a mostly good growing season.
“I really feel like we were watching one of the best corn crops here in northern Indiana come to the end, but we did run into some dry conditions late and that has limited us on our seed depth,” he explained. “It just wasn’t as good of a kernel depth as we could have had, but the early indications say that the crop is still going to be very good. I think it’s just one of those things where expectations are going to be at par or slightly under, depending on where you are here in northern Indiana.”
Harmon is emphasizing the importance of farmers scouting for stalk integrity.
“We have plenty of plants out there with a lot of good ears, but what we’re seeing is to finish out these ears we ran into adversity, whether it was diseases such as tar spot or southern rust to even drought locations,” he told HAT. “These stocks had to compromise themselves to finish out all those ears and those kernels. In that case, I could see us really needing to focus on our scouting to make sure that we are checking those fields with priority. You can definitely get with your local sales team to find out which hybrids we want to focus on. We did have to compromise a lot of our stalks to be able to finish these ears out and I could see some stalk lodging issues with the next big wind event we see just because we do still have quite a bit of grain on an ear kind of just sitting up there as a sailboat.”
He adds, really focus on the corn crop and knowing the stalks are standing as well as you think they are.
Harmon also thinks farmers might be surprised at how low their corn moisture is. But, if the moisture is a little high and you have stalk concerns, “An ear in the corn head is better than having to pay for a propane gas bill, because right now we just want to make sure those ears make it to the corn head and ultimately to the bin.”
There are some new, high-performing hybrids that will be available next year. Harmon explains in the full HAT interview: