Renewable Farming

Harvesting 19% corn from stalks with green leaves and white shucks

Early harvest reports are filtering in from WakeUP clients. One of the most interesting came from north central Iowa, which endured extended dry-weather stress in June and July. 

September 23, 2021 One goal we always applaud is corn so healthy at harvest that most of the leaves are still green, the stalk is still alive, the husks are white — and moisture has dropped into the 18% to 20% range for optimum combining.

That’s happening among our growers who’ve foliar-fed two to five times through the growing season. The corn hasn’t run out of nutrients or energy; it keeps filling kernels and adding density. Ears are often 18 rows around, and filled to the tips. We’re hearing yields around 215 bu. per acre. Not bad for a season in an area with only .82 inch of rain in June, .37 inch of rain in July and finally, 3.37 inches in August. 

Representative pods showing size difference between
untreated (left) and foliar-fed beans.

We’ll have to wait until after harvest to analyze comparisons between crops which had the stress-resisting endophytes, BioEnsure and BioTango from Adaptive Symbiotic Technologies. But this season offered a useful test of those bacterial and fungal helpers.

It’s always difficult to estimate soybean yields, but a client offered a sample of what he’s seeing in beans which were robustly foliar fed. Note the difference in pod size in the nearby photo. The foliar-fed pod is on the right: 20% bigger. The grower — who doesn’t want his name used — tells us that a modest foliar-feeding program looks like it’s generating an extra 15 to 20 bushels on beans. From our experience, that’s difficult to achieve.