Scouting report

Monday, August 20, 2012

Ross, Philip, and I were out to check on the corn fields this morning.  We were mainly trying to determine if it is time to take the combines to the field.  The answer is negative.  Of the corn that we brought in to test, the moisture level was 31% — about 8 points above where I’d like to start.  We noticed some damage to the grain, saw some kernels that had sprouted on the ear– a new thing for me.  There are a few ears that show signs of some mold growing, and that is a warning sign for harvest.  This year, in particular, because of the extreme dry weather, mold growth has been intensified.  We will have to be mindful of our management of harvest and storage to minimize the effect of the development of aflatoxinThis is another layer of difficulty brought on by the drought, but it is not beyond our ability to manage. 

Here is a sample of what we found while scouting corn fields this morning… no giant ears, but some decent-sized ones…down to ‘nubbins’. And there are some stalks in some locations with no ears at all…

After this morning’s trip, I am even less certain about any estimate of corn yields.  They are simply going to be all over the map, from zero to okay.  Our yield maps may be more interesting to print out this year, for they will have many, many colors!

So, we wait about a week for the combines to roll….

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