Renewable Farming

Combine monitor ranged between 250 and 300 bu. in this field today

Oct. 2 corn harvest: Green stalks, white husks, 250 to 300 bu. per acre on yield monitor

This is what corn is “supposed” to look like at physiological maturity, if it hasn’t been hit by frost. Green leaves above the ear. juicy, strong stalks. White husks.

And this is what it’s supposed to yield like:  250 to 300 bushels showing up on the yield monitor, adjusted to 15.5% moisture. The corn is testing around 22%, which is higher moisture than most reports we’ve heard. 

Most corn around Iowa is totally brown, and a lot of it died in early to mid-September. 

This field is near the site of the BRT Ag and Turf field day, on Keith Schlapkohl’s farm at Stockton, southeast Iowa. 

For years, Keith has followed intensive all-season foliar feeding and continual crop scouting — doing what it takes to keep the crop healthy and growing. Good nutrition is the main defense against disease, and this year that paid especially well.

Also today, crop consultant Bob Streit sent a reminder to his clients which essentially says that to preserve corn yields against late-season “sudden death” from pathogens, growers will need to sap test, tissue test, scout carefully, and provide the crop what it needs… on time.  Primarily with foliar nutrients.

By Bob Streit, crop consultant, Oct. 2, 2015

Here is a brief summary, plus links to articles providing information that should answer questions about why the corn crop died so quickly this fall.
Based on what we have seen the last seven years, we knew the crop was going to ‘ghost out’ quickly when the weather forecast in late August was for temps in the 90s in central Iowa with dry south winds. Entire fields turned brown in about 2 to 3 days.
The fields that have stayed green through early October have been these:
1. They received one or two applications of foliar nutrients.
2. Planted to very Goss’s tolerant hybrids.
3. Treated with full rates of a copper-containing compound and/or
4. Sprayed with the new compound Bio Impruv.
By staying green, the plant filled kernels longer and to a greater depth.
If the normal grain fill period is 60 days long and the crop was completely dead 20 days early, a 33% yield loss could be expected.
It looks like the days of just planting the seed, spraying with a herbicide, maybe sidedressing with N and nothing else — is over with. Constant and hard management to control Goss’ will be required. The picture below was taken the last day of August. That field stayed green until about Sep.18-20.
We are seeing that in narrow strip trials the bimetallic crystal, which some call a matrix and others a prion, becomes airborne and overwhelms the treated checks.
A west central Iowa grower who applied the seed treatment product plus the Bio Impruv right after tassel, plus a fungicide, had corn that was 60% to 70% green even on this past Monday, Sep. 28 when we walked the field.
I put several black layered ears on a Sartorious scale that weighs to the 1,000 of a gram and they weighed an average 14.15 ounces. He was doing yield checks Oct. 2.  Here’s that field:
West Central Iowa cornfield managed well all season
He called and had been weighing 280 to 300 Bu/A. We walked some rows and pushed his plants over so the tops of his plants touched the neighboring rows. Only 1 in 100 of his plants broke. In a neighbor’s field 99 in 100 broke over.
This difference alone shows the Bio Impruv has big benefits. I am trying to get the small company that produces it to ramp up production, because the same problem is likely to exist in 2016. Its cost will be less than most strobe/triazole fungicides and the product seems to last 2.5 to 3 months in the plant.
The articles linked below, about the little biomatrix creature which can be seen only with an electron microscope, will seem strange. If they were not real, why are Harvard Medical, Wash U, and U of Texas doing such research?
A new disease organism… is it a prion?  By Ulrich Loening.  Download this PDF 
Prions in plants — some important background By Dr. Don Huber.  Download this PDF