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Thursday, September 4, 2003

Corn harvest 2003

D.R. Hicks, Agronomy and Plant Genetics, University of Minnesota

Corn will be mature and at harvestable moisture levels earlier this year because of the dry weather. This gives the opportunity for more field drying, which will reduce drying costs. However, the dry weather stress has caused premature dying as the plants have shut down and will likely result in increased stalk lodging and ear droppage.

Tuesday, July 8, 2003

Why is corn so uneven this year?

George Rehm, Dept. of Soil, Water, and Climate, University of Minnesota

Minnesota corn growers are accustomed to looking at corn fields where all plants are the same height. The uniformity of height was missing in many Minnesota fields during the early portion of the 2003 growing season. In fact, the uneven corn growth stimulated several telephone calls.

As with many problems there is probably no single easy answer to this one. There are several factors that could cause uneven growth. For many fields, the problem could be attributed to more than one.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

That Purple Corn is Back Again

George Rehm, Dept. of Soil, Water, and Climate, University of Minnesota

For the past two weeks, purple corn has been observed in several fields throughout southern and western Minnesota. Although corn that is deficient in phosphorus has a purple color, it is doubtful that phosphorus deficiency is responsible for the observations this spring and early summer.

The purple coloring this year, as was the case in 1997, is probably caused by a situation called the "fallow syndrome." This situation usually occurs in areas where a crop was not grown last year or following sugar beets.

Friday, May 16, 2003

Corn planting depth, root growth, and yield

D.R. Hick, Agronomy and Plant Genetics, University of Minnesota

The intense rains that have occurred since planting have caused the soil surface to settle in some areas resulting in corn seed laying in the ground closer to the surface than the original planting depth. This will not affect grain yield if the desired plant population is achieved and the permanent roots grow normally.

Monday, April 14, 2003

Corn population

D.R. Hicks, Extension Agronomist

Optimum Corn Population

Corn population should be between 29,000 and 31,000 plants per acre at harvest to produce the maximum grain yield. Grain yield is lower for populations below this. Table 1 gives the relationship between yield and harvest plant population. To achieve this harvest population, I suggest increasing the seeding rate by 15% when corn is planted prior to May 1 and 10% when corn is planted after May 1. Soil temperatures are lower in late April and there is a greater risk that some kernels nay not successfully germinate and emerge so one should increase the seeding rate to obtain the desired final stand to produce the maximum grain yield.

Tuesday, April 1, 2003

It's corn planting time

D.R. Hicks, Extension Agronomist

Remember last year? 22% of Minnesota's corn acres were planted in mid April. The seedbed was ideal and the soil temperature was above normal for mid April. But, it turned cold and stayed that way for 30 days. As a result seed laid in the ground for 30 to 40 days. The end result was uneven emerging plants and stands that were substantially lower than the desired plant populations. In addition, stands were not uniform in plant spacing. Yet - we had a record state average corn yield in Minnesota of 156 bushels per acre!

Monday, March 24, 2003

Spring handling of wet corn and beans

Bill Wilcke, Retired Extension Engineer

Because of wet conditions during harvest last fall, a number of farmers currently have shelled corn or soybeans in their bins that are too wet for safe storage into spring and summer. What moisture levels are safe for storage? Crop storability is a function of both temperature and moisture. The colder the storage temperature, the higher a crop's moisture can be before molds and insects cause quality loss. During winter, if stored crops are cooled to less than 30F, they can be held at fairly high moisture levels with minimal risk of storage. During spring and summer, we lose the ability to keep crops below 30F (unless we choose to spend money on refrigeration) and we need to reduce moisture content to avoid spoilage. Corn should be dried to 14 to 15% moisture for storage into spring, 14% for storage into summer, and 13% for longer-term storage. Soybeans should be 12 to 13% moisture for storage into spring, 12% for storage into summer, and 11% for longer-term storage.
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