15 articles tagged "corn".

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Author:  Bob Nielsen Among the top 10 most discussed (and cussed) topics at the Chat ‘n Chew Cafe during corn harvest season is the grain test weight being reported from corn fields in the neighborhood. Test weight is measured in the U.S. in terms of pounds of grain per volumetric “Winchester” bushel. In practice, test weight measurements are based on the weight of grain that fills a quart container (37.24 qts to a bushel) that meets the specifications of the USDA-FGIS (GIPSA) for official inspection (Fig. 1). Certain electronic moisture meters, like the Dickey-John GAC, estimate test weight based on a smaller-volume cup. These test weight estimates are reasonably accurate but are not accepted for official grain trading purposes.       The official minimum allowable test weight in the U.S. for No. 1 yellow corn is 56 lbs/bu and for No. 2 yellow corn is 54 lbs/bu (USDA-GIPSA, 1996).[Read More…]


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Author: Bob Nielsen Weather conditions strongly influence in-field grain drydown. Plant characteristics can also influence in-field grain drydown. Early grain maturation usually means faster in-field grain drydown. Later grain maturation usually means slower in-field grain drydown. elayed maturity of corn due to late planting or simply cool growing seasons often translates into delayed or slow drydown of mature corn grain prior to harvest and, consequently, higher than desired grain moisture contents at harvest. Wetter grain at harvest increases the need for artificially drying the grain after harvest which, in turn, increases the growers’ production costs and can delay the progress of harvest itself. Conversely, an early or rapid drydown of the crop decreases growers’ costs and facilitates early or at least timely harvest of the crop prior to the colder and, often, wetter conditions of late fall. At the moment, the 2018 end of season is shaping up to look[Read More…]



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Author: Bob Nielsen Fancy colored yield maps are fine for verifying grain yields at the end of the harvest season, but bragging rights for the highest corn yields are established earlier than that down at the Main Street Cafe, on the corner of 5th and Earl. Some patrons of the cafe begin “eyeballing” their yields as soon as their crops reach “roasting ear” stage. Some of the guys there are pretty good (or just plain lucky) at estimating yields prior to harvest, while the estimates by others are not even close to being within the proverbial ballpark. Interestingly, they all use the same procedure referred to as the Yield Component Method. Yield Component Method Other pre-harvest yield prediction methods exist (Lauer, 2002; Lee & Herbek, 2005; Thomison, 2015), but the Yield Component Method is probably the most popular because it can be used well ahead of harvest; as early as[Read More…]


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Author: John Obermeyer Several caterpillars in the ear can be very similar in appearance and habits, so identification to species of some of the worms in ears can be tricky. Note that, in general, you cannot use overall body color or damage for identification. Some identification tips, though not foolproof, appear below for the corn earworm, western bean cutworm, fall armyworm and European corn borer. We suggest you inspect cornfields soon before the larvae leave the ear and pupate.          


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Author: John Obermeyer In mid-June, we wrote in the Pest&Crop about the second surge of armyworm moths and suggested that dense, lush grasses (e.g., pasture) could be at risk. Though our pheromone trapping for armyworm ended at that time, Thomas Richards, NEPAC research farm (Whitley County), decided to continue monitoring out of curiosity. The mid-June moth count was 1674, the following week’s counts were 959,2009,1613, then beginning to tail off at 528 a month later. Those were some high counts! While driving a county road early this week, a very weedy field caught my attention. In stopping, I could finally tell that the field was planted into corn. In rows were spindles of stalks among the very heavy grass and broadleaf pressure. Entering the field, I didn’t find any active armyworm larva, though the telltale signs of their leaf feeding were present. There were fresh wheel tracks in the field[Read More…]


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Author: Bob Nielsen “Scuttlebutt”: The cask of drinking water on ships was called a scuttlebutt and since sailors exchanged gossip when they gathered at the scuttlebutt for a drink of water, scuttlebutt became U.S. Navy slang for gossip or rumors. A butt was a wooden cask, which held water or other liquids; to scuttle is to drill a hole, as for tapping a cask. Nautical Terms and Phrases, NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER, Washington DC 20374-5060. Online at www.ussbrainedd630.com/terms.htm [URL accessed Aug 2017]. The post-pollination scuttlebutt overheard in coffee shops throughout Indiana during late summer often revolves around the potential for severe stress that might reduce kernel set or kernel size in neighborhood cornfields. Growers’ interest in this topic obviously lies with the fact that the number of kernels per ear is a rather important component of total grain yield per acre for corn. Poor kernel set, meaning an unacceptably low kernel[Read More…]


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Author: Bob Nielsen The grain fill period begins with successful pollination and initiation of kernel development, and ends approximately 60 days later when the kernels are physiologically mature. During grain fill, the developing kernels are the primary sink for concurrent photosynthate produced by the corn plant. What this means is that the photosynthate demands of the developing kernels will take precedence over that of much of the rest of the plant. In essence, the plant will do all it can to “pump” dry matter into the kernels, sometimes at the expense of the health and maintenance of other plant parts including the roots and lower stalk. A stress-free grain fill period can maximize the yield potential of a crop, while severe stress during grain fill can cause kernel abortion or lightweight grain and encourage the development of stalk rot. The health of the upper leaf canopy is particularly important for[Read More…]


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Author: Bob Nielsen The other day, one of the patrons of Rudy’s Bar and Grill walks in with an ear of corn that exhibited long, flowing locks of blonde silks tumbling down the sides of the husk leaves and asked two questions: “Why are the silks so long?” and “Do such long silks bode ill for the success of corn pollination?” Well, maybe the 2nd question was couched in more earthy terms, but you get the drift. Both questions suggest that the guy has some experience thinking about sex in a corn field and understands that silks are the functional stigmas of the female flowers of a corn plant. Each silk connects to an individual ovule (potential kernel) and must be pollinated in order for fertilization of the ovule to occur and a kernel develop. The guy also seems to know that emerged silks are typically only 2 to 3[Read More…]


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Authors: Joe Ikley and Bill Johnson Many people have commented that we have the best stands of corn and soybean across the state that we have seen in many years. Our dry planting window certainly helped get crops uniformly established, but now we have been receiving many questions about herbicide carryover injury on crops this year. Any discussion about herbicide carryover will focus on three key components: environmental conditions since herbicide application; chemistry of the herbicides applied; and interactions between the herbicide and soil conditions. Weather is usually the driving component whenever we see injury from a wide variety of herbicides applied the previous year. While we have not been as dry as areas in the western corn belt, a look at our total precipitation from August 1st 2017 until June 1st of this year shows a large area of the state had 4 to 6 fewer inches of precipitation[Read More…]


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