Harvest is On!

Reports from southwest Indiana say corn is ready to run. Tom J. Bechman

Published on: Aug 23, 2004

David Allyn has a different way of making his point. The Mt. Vernon, Ind., farmer was in rare form when we visited with him at the Indiana Prairie Farmer Master Farmer banquet last week.

"We have a different kind of corn than you do here in central Indiana," Allyn quipped.

What was he talking about? "OK, Dave, I give…what are you talking about?" I commented.

"Our corn is yellow and brown,' he said. "It's as yellow and brown as this wood floor."

Yellow and brown corn in August. Can that be good? It must have been hit hard by disease. "So you have disease problems?" I queried. Gray leaf spot has shown up in various fields in Indiana. And iCORN agronomist Jim Schwartz has also diagnosed cases of Diplodia stalk rot already.

"No," he laughed. "It's just ready to harvest. We're ready to get after it. Harvest is ready to go down our way."

Indeed, if you live in southwest Indiana, you likely know what Allyn is referring to. Maybe you've already opened up fields yourself, or preparing to do so. Some report that soybean fields are also turning yellow, due to natural maturity, in some locations.

They're turning various colors in other spots spread throughout the state, but from disease. Sudden death syndrome is reported to be showing up frequently in south-central and southeast Indiana. Scattered cases of white mold are beginning to show up in more northern locations.

As for corn, Allyn figures his crop matured before disease could impact it much. It's already at black layer. Once that happens, the crop is physiologically mature.

Early-maturing corn is due to early planting in most cases this year, Allyn notes. Most corn was planted in April in his area. It was only later, in late April to early May, that rains began to interfere with crop work. Some soybeans in southwest Indiana were not planted until early June.

Stay tuned. Can you hear the rumble of the combines in a field near you? If not, you may not have long to wait.