Tips for Harvesting Corn Left from 2009

Volunteer corn could be problem.

Published on: Mar 15, 2010
Some corn fields, or parts of fields, were not harvested last fall. In some cases, producers harvested all but the north and west edges where there were several feet of snow from early winter storms.

Your best option is probably to harvest the corn for grain as soon as field conditions permit, says Bob Klein and Greg Kruger, UNL cropping specialists. Harvest time may be limited to early morning while the ground is still frozen. It may be necessary to harvest in only one direction and ground speed usually will need to be reduced.

Adjust gathering chains and snapping rolls speed to match combine speed. Also, make other adjustments to the corn head as necessary. If the corn is down, it will be necessary to run the head as close to the ground as possible to insure maximum possible yield, Klein says.

Harvest losses are likely to be greater than normal, so volunteer corn will be a bigger problem than usual. Grazing the field can reduce the volunteer corn, the UNL specialists recommend.

Crop rotation also may help control volunteer corn. For example, if soybeans are planted, ACCase herbicides such as Select Max, Assure II, Fusion, and Poast Plus could be used to control the volunteer corn, they add.

The worst volunteer corn will be where the field is tilled because tillage buries the volunteer corn seed. In ridge planting, volunteer corn will not be a problem if a ridge cleaning device is used.