2015 Issues: Harvest
Challenges to Watch in 2015 Harvest
The 2015 growing season was wet and cool. Most of Iowa averaged 1-2 degrees below normal temperatures, and all but the Northeast Crop District received 2 -10 inches above normal rainfall. September is forecast to be on average above normal temperature and continuing above normal rainfall. These conditions produced very high yield potential at the start of September, but there are many instances of disease, and premature death in both corn and soybeans after Labor Day. As signified by yellowing, corn ran out of nitrogen in many places. While yield is determined over the full season, crop quality is often established by conditions at the very end of the growing season.
Premature and irregular death in corn will retard kernel fill, which in turn will reduce the test weight from what it would have been with completely filled kernels. Some yield will be lost, but more importantly, field dry-down and storage properties will not be as good as they might have been. Test weight of 54-55 lb/bu may be high this year, when a month ago my expectation was around 58-59 lb/bu. If wet and humid weather persists, regardless of temperature, expect wetter than normal corn at harvest. Stalk strength is not good in many cases, which requires early harvest to prevent field loss. The net result is a high yielding crop that will require artificial drying and may not have good long-term storage properties.
- What Can We Expect - Charles R. Hurburgh, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
- What a Difference the Weather Makes - Charles R. Hurburgh, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering