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Updated corn yield forecasts and grain dry-down guidelines

by Jeff Coulter, Extension Corn Specialist

Corn in Minnesota is quickly approaching maturity (black layer) and silage harvest is well underway. Corn generally reaches maturity (black layer) at 55 to 60 days after tassels emerge. Stress to corn from dry conditions between now and maturity can reduce kernel weight, accelerate the arrival of maturity and dry-down of grain, and reduce stalk strength.

General rates of in-field drying of corn grain in Minnesota are below, but vary greatly with weather conditions:
  • 0.75 to 1.0 percentage points per day during September 15 to 25
  • 0.5 to 0.75 percentage points per day during September 26 to October 5
  • 0.25 to 0.5 percentage points per day during October 6 to 15
  • 0 to 0.33 percentage points per day after October 15

To evaluate the impact of this season’s weather on corn development and yield potential, forecasts were made on September 7 for three locations in Minnesota and several others across the Corn Belt. Statewide forecasts of corn yield also were developed. Updated forecasts are planned for later this month.

These forecasts by University of Nebraska researchers, along with USDA’s statewide yield forecasts and weekly crop reports, continue to indicate favorable corn yield for Minnesota as a whole. However, considerable variability in yield is expected among fields and regions of the state.

For more educational resources on corn production, visit Extension’s corn production website.
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