Minnesota Farmer

Scouting corn August 10, 2012

I’ve been spending time out in the field checking on crop conditions.  Despite the dry conditions in our area of Minnesota the crop looks really good.  If we had not had the heavy rains this spring, and a few well timed rains this summer, I’m sure it would have looked a lot worse.

This is pretty typical of what I see.  Every stalk has an ear on it, and they all seem to be well filled out.  Some are even starting to tip down, which means that they are nearing maturity.  The stalks are mostly green top to bottom, but areas that had more stress are showing some dead leaves on the bottom.

If you peal the husks back you see that the ears are well filled out and most kernels are dented.  Some are filled to the tip while others are missing some kernels at the end.  This is potential that could have been corn.

Sometimes you will find an ear that insects, raccoons, mice or deer have damaged the ears.  This photo is mouse damage.  These instances are rare, but there.  In a good year this would not be a problem.  It seems that in a dry year you have more of these problems.

Raccoons and deer can destroy large areas of corn if they are thick enough.  Mice and insects usually settle for a few kernels on the end of the ear, their damage is hidden, but substantial.

Even the moisture stressed plants in sandy areas will try to produce corn, and some will succeed.  We do not have many areas like this, but most field have them.  The amount of grain loss will depend on how large the area is.

So how big will our crop be?  I really could  not tell you.  I do know that with out modern crop technology we would be looking at a lot less yield.  The ability to get by on little water that is part of the newer genetically modified crops is really making a difference between having a crop and not having one.  We’ll see what is out there when the combines roll.

I can tell you that we will have one of the earlier harvest in our history.  Maturity has been hastened by all of the heat we have had this growing season.







2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Great post on what you are seeing & how those things happen.

Comment by Janice aka JPlovesCOTTON

Very informative- good example of how genetically modified crops can work.

Comment by Alyse Cranson

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