Thursday, September 24, 2015

Corn looks better than expected, esp compared to neighbors corn

This is a corn geek sort of entry; I'm looking at my year-end corn results and comparing them to a neighbors corn crop.  

 A week later and the corn is showing dents and ripening nicely.   Using a corn yield estimator I'm getting an estimated yeild of 236 bushels per acre, which is considerably higher than the promoted yield of 150 bushels per acre.  

Most stalks have 2 ears, some have 3 ears.  average 2.3 ears per corn stalk
the top ear is one of mine, the bottom is the neighbors corn that's about 2 weeks ahead of mine
The yield numbers seem very high; that's 6.5 tons of grain corn per acre; if the estimators right I'm going to end up with a lot more corn than I thought I would -- I was aiming for 80 tons, now it looks like I'm going to get something closer to 130 tons.  That is a lot of corn.  My biggest bins are only 15 tons each, so if it does come in anywhere close to the estimate I'm going to have to find a place to store 100 tons of corn.  That's actually a problem I'm hoping that I have.

(if you want to run your own estimator math, I'm using 30" rows, 8" between the plants, and an average of 40 harvestable ears per 1/1000 of a row or 40 ears per 17'5")
Neighbors corn

The neighbors corn was planted for use as silage to feed dairy cows, and it's a different corn than what I planted.  It has one ear per corn stalk, and the ears are smaller.  My ears have 41 kernels average length, with 14 kernels average diameter.  The neighbors ears have 32 length and 11 diameter, but the biggest difference is that my corn has multiple ears per stalk and his only one ear per bushel -- using the same corn estimator, I'm getting 200+ bushels per acre and he's getting 80.

The field that the neighbor is using has been continuous corn for at least the 3 years I've been watching; this is the first year of corn for mine, and that may explain the yield difference too.

Saturday I'll be hooking the corn head up to the combine and getting everything greased and ready to go.  We're probably at least weeks if not a month from combining it, but if there's any wrinkles I'd like to get them worked out now.

1 comment:

Rich said...

Most of my experience is with wheat and grain sorghum and except for some small test plots of OP corn (trying to figure out if I can grow corn on a larger scale around here) I don't have much experience growing corn so take what I say with a grain of salt.

I'd guess that it'll be more than a month before you start harvesting your corn. If it's just starting to dent right now, you still have to get to black layer which would be around 30-35% moisture, then unless you have a way to dry it in the bin the moisture needs to drop to around 14-15%. By the time corn reaches 14-15% moisture in the field, everything from root to tassel will usually be dead and dried down.

I might be wrong, but corn with multiple ears has a higher possibility of going down (or lodging) as it starts to dry down. The way I understand it, as the ears reach maturity, nutrients start to be cannibalized from the stalk which makes the stalk weaker and more likely to go down. With multiple ears that process is much quicker and you have to keep a close eye on stalk quality as it dries down and be ready to make the call on whether you want to deal with harvesting wet corn or downed corn.

I'm a little superstitious about making predictions about what kind of yields I'm going to get, and have been so far off whenever I have made yield estimations that I've stopped trying to estimate anything until it's actually harvested and in the bin.

Besides all that, good luck with your harvest and I hope it's a bin-buster of a harvest for you (record-setting bin-buster harvests are always much more fun than the alternative).