The Crop Watch '13 field was harvested last week. Sorry, I'm not going to spill the beans. Some of you will still want to enter the yield-guessing contest, and qualify to win free seed from Seed Consultants, Inc. All you have to do is mail in an entry form from one of the last three issues, or email your guess, with your name, address, cell phone, and acres of crops raised to firstname.lastname@example.org. You have until 11:59 p.m. EDT October 15 to submit your entry.
What we will share are a couple observations from the field made from walking it just before the combine went through, and riding the combine.
First, soil types made a difference again this year, even in a good year. They were the driver last year, and they were again this year. The only difference was even the toughest soils that fried out the most during the very dry August yielded more like 130 to 150 bushels per acre, not 5 or 10 bushels per acre as in 2012. Some good spots sent the monitor well above 200 bushels per acre.
Second, this was non-GMO corn, and there was evidence of corn borer damage. The farmer wondered why there were a few dropped ears – enough to notice. Some hybrids drop ears more than others. The seed rep says this hybrid is not known to drop ears, although it can happen with any hybrid under extreme stress when the attachment to the stalk is weaker than it should be.
A short walk in corn still standing produced the answer. One ear had a perfect hole right up the shank where the borer worked his way toward the ear. Corn borer was responsible for most of the dropped ears. It wasn't pandemic, but there were noticeable ears in some places.
Get your guess in soon and be ready to win free seed!