48% Of Farmers Say Their Corn Crop Is Below Average

01:11PM Jul 24, 2019
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Corn photos from MI Corn College 2014.
( Aimee Cope )

Forty-eight percent of U.S. farmers say they expect their corn crop will deliver below-average yields this harvest, according to a Farm Journal Pulse survey conducted on Tuesday.

Of the 1,082 farmers who responded to the survey, 12% say they didn't get their crop planted. Only 10% of farmers surveyed say their crop is above average this year.

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As of Sunday, USDA reported that 35% of the U.S. corn crop had reached silking with 54% rated at good to excellent. (USDA Reports - AgWeb) Both benchmarks are below-normal for this time of year and reflect the tough 2019 growing season farmers have endured.

Jackson County, Minn., farmer David Ringkob says he was able to get his corn planted but that its development has suffered from low temperatures.

“Until this past week we’d been running about 100 heat units behind,” he told Chip Flory, AgriTalk host, during the 2019 Wyffels Corn Strategies meeting near Worthington, Minn.

Brent Tharp, Wyffels Agronomist, says most hybrids can adjust to a shorter growing season and still produce decent yields.

“If we stay on the trend for a June-planted crop, we can finish the earlier season hybrids by October 15, but we’ll need to manage for a wetter than normal crop,” Tharp told Flory.

One of the down sides to a late-planted crop is that a hybrid adjusts by shortening up the grain-fill period. That, in turn, reduces yield outcomes.

Ringkob says a sidedress nitrogen application he made with Y-Drops gives him confidence his crop will finish before frost hits.

Tharp adds that if farmers believe their corn has untapped yield potential, consider making a late-season fungicide application to keep the crop green, growing and filling out cobs.

“Our research shows fungicide pays off,” he says. “That and we need  hot September with moisture to help finish the crop.”

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