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Management Tips for Late-Maturing Corn

No farmer wants to experience any yield loss or even more so, lose any profit. Unfortunately, this may possibly happen if your corn is late to mature.

When corn is slow to develop and continues to mature into the fall, harvest management and grain handling becomes all the more important. As a matter of fact, it is crucial to guard against lost income simply due to loss in yields and poor quality of grain.

If a late harvest does happen to occur, the corn crop can be significantly more wet than usual. This can result in higher drying costs and mechanical damage to grain. Along with this, freezing temperatures that can occur before normal crop maturity (such as prior to kernel black-layer development), can also reduce the amount of corn that is yielded.

For help with a late harvest of corn, take these management tips into consideration.

1) While you are waiting for the grain to dry before harvesting, you can try out a number of

actions, such as:

  • Use you field notes

In regards to silking, use your field notes, to determine the order in which fields will reach black-layer development and harvestable moisture.

  • Consider harvesting (or selling) more of your crop as silage or high-moisture corn
  • Explore locking in price for the extra fuel needed for grain drying

Compare fuel costs to possible dockage for shrink if wet corn is delivered to the elevator.

  • Consider some field drying if grain-moisture levels are high

However, do not wait too long; wet field conditions can keep combines out of the field as crops deteriorate, and winter weather can increase harvest losses due to ear droppage and stalk breakage.

2) Adjust your combine settings to harvest wet grain. Some agricultural engineers suggest

starting your harvest with combine settings that would likely under-thresh a typical, lower-

moisture crop:

  • Set cylinder/rotor speed near the low end of the suggested range.
  • Set conclave clearance near the widest recommended setting.
  • Open the chaffer and sieve to the maximum recommended settings.
  • Consult with the combine manufacturer for machine-specific recommendations and check the settings often, readjusting as needed.

3) To minimize any possible quality issues with wet or immature grain, follow these optimum

grain-storage procedures:

  • Drying temperatures need to be adjusted

Do this for corn with 20-25 percent moisture content or higher to avoid any scorching of the grain and causing any stress due to cracks that increase the breakage of kernel.

  • Screen grain

Then, “core” bin to get rid of broken kernels and that accumulate in the center and level the grain to minimize any moisture that may be at the top.

  • Maintain aeration

Maintain aeration until the grain’s moisture reaches its equilibrium.

  • Maintain stored grain

Do this by checking every two weeks.

(Source – http://www.agarmour.com/#!Management-Tips-for-LateMaturing-Corn/cx9v/BB708A21-675A-4FDF-8A94-71576239C7C6)

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