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Question: I have some down corn, how do I harvest it?
Answer: That’s a good question, but let’s back up. I like to tell farmers to establish an A-B-C order for corn harvest so you know which fields you want to harvest first, second, third and so forth. Before you harvest down corn, consider whether you have standing corn that is at risk of going down. If you do, go harvest the standing corn first. Second, as you already know, it is difficult to manage down corn. It could’ve occurred from any number of issues--nutrient problems, poor stalk quality, storms, rootworm problems and not being timely with harvest, to name a few. There’s not much you can do on the combine to address this. A corn pick-up reel can help and auger cones might also. All you can do is set up your combine to get as much of that corn as you can. The other thing you’ll need to think about is what impact that down corn may have next season and be prepared to address it in the spring from a weed-control management standpoint.
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