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Harvest Corn Timely
Aug 15, 2012
Harvest has already begun in some areas. As expected, yields are extremely variable. Much of the early harvested grain has low yields, poor test weights, and marginal grain quality at best.
Poor stalk quality, weak ear shanks, ear rots, and insect infestations are additional risks that may add significant challenges to harvest. Harvesting in a timely manner will help you manage these potential problems with less personal stress and cost to your bottom line.
Don’t Delay: While it may seem tempting to wait for higher moisture corn to dry down in the field, the risks outweigh the benefits. Aflatoxin management for example, recommends harvesting grain above 24% moisture and drying it down in high heat to 15%. Other considerations such as grain shelling on the header can be minimized by harvesting at higher moisture levels. Delaying harvest can also be compounded by potential stalk lodging “Especially this year”. Harvesting down corn can easily double harvest costs and increase grain losses by as much as 30%. Even if the corn is only yielding 100 bu./per acre; at $8 corn, you could be leaving as much as $240 an acre in the field!
Final yield, marketing decisions, and insurance coverage all remain a “BIG” unknown until harvest is complete. Once your grain is in the bin, you'll be in a best position for managing profit opportunities.
Look at it this way, a frustrating year will end with harvest. The sooner you get to it, the sooner you'll be done! The sooner you'll be able to plan for success in 2013!