West Central Iowa started planting seed corn for the second time Friday, May 10. As of Monday night, one of my dealers was excited to share that his wife went for her evening walk and saw corn emerged in his field. This is the first emerged corn I have heard of in the area to date. This same dealer is starting to plant seed beans today. By my estimate West Central Iowa is 45 to 55% done planting corn and 5% done planting soybeans.
North Central Iowa started planting seed corn for the second time Sunday, May 12. Having received more snow than my Western territory, the northern area needed a few more days to dry out before returning to the field. Everything seems to be progressing nicely but no fields have emerged as of yet. North Central Iowa is 35 to 45% done with corn and 2 to 3% done with soybeans.
Harvest for North Central & West Central Iowa will be pretty much done by the end of the week. Given what very little rain we received throughout the season, corn and soybean yields were better than expected.
When buying your seed corn and seed beans for next year, remember to spread your risk and plant earlier and later maturities. For example, last year the earlier soybeans outperformed the later maturities. This year is just the opposite. In North Central Iowa test plots this year, we placed a 2.0 maturity soybean next to a 2.5 maturity, and the 2.5 maturity won due to weather experienced in 2012. Last year the 2.0 maturity did better because of weather experienced in 2011. Corn is no different. Diversification is key.
Corn harvest is well under way in West Central and southwest Iowa with moistures running 14-20 percent. Yields are not as good as we had hoped in some situations while they’re surprising good in other areas. I had the shock of my life on Wednesday afternoon when a producer called after harvesting his LH 6058 VT3 PRO along I 29 south of Sioux City. Knowing yields were all over the board I wasn’t expecting to hear he got 264 dry bushels per acre. Yes, 264! Come to find out, there was a strip about 2 miles wide that didn’t miss a rain this summer. His crop definitely benefitted from timely rains.
Other areas were not so lucky and are seeing yields run 80 to 130 bu/A on rotated ground and 60 to 90 in corn on corn situations. Although these are not tremendous yields, they’re better than nothing.
Producers need to get out of their combines and check field loss. In several areas, field are greening up with 2-3 leaf volunteer corn. Follow your gut, not the book: slow down harvest speeds and slow down the fan a little. Trash in the bin will save bushels going out the back. Check your tailing and make proper adjustments. Remember that 3-5 bushels on the ground from ears not being shelled completely or blowing corn out with too much air adds up to $24-$40 an acre!
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