Farm Journal Field Agronomist Ken Ferrie provides advice on harvesting corn in tough drought conditions.
Harvesting your 2012 corn crop will have unique challenges. Farm Journal Field Agronomist Ken Ferrie provides the following advice:
- Prioritize your fields. Start scouting your fields now, Ferrie suggests. Then you can line up the fields, in ABC fashion, in terms of which are high-priority, medium-priority and low-priority fields.
- Determine which fields have the most fragile plants and harvest those first.
- Check stalk quality. Try the push test on your corn fields, Ferrie suggests. See which stalks have the most resistance. If you can easily knock a stalk down, plan on harvesting it immediately.
- Fight the fungus. Scout your fields to see if aflatoxin, nasty fungi that is common in hot, dry ears, is present. If it is, plan to harvest that field early. Ferrie says you’ll most likely have to store this corn, to dry it out.
- Look behind the combine. Ferrie says this year especially, machine loss could be high. Calibrate your combine to better harvest shorter plants and smaller ears.
- Keep adjusting. Since conditions will be different in each field, Ferrie says you must recalibrate your combine for the changing conditions.
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