Renewable Farming

How to coax more yield as corn prices jump $1, with further gains posslble

Until early May, we heard many farmers challenging: “How many $10-per=acre yield boosters can I throw at a questionable corn crop that’s worth hardly more than $3 a bushel? Our experienced customers remained steady on their WakeUP usage because they see consistent benefits. But they hesitate on new biologically-friendly “bugs in a jug” or nutrients like like Mainstay Calcium made in South America and sold by Redox. Some of our WakeUP dealers distribute that product — and many more new introductions.

June 16, 2019 — Now, as we roll past mid-June and see a nearly $1 per bushel gain in corn futures, we’re hearing the question: “What should I do to get a banker-safe shot at another 10 to 40 bushels, now that I can see my corn emerging?”

The December corn futures chart below, prepared by Bill Fordham, owner of C&S Grain Market Consulting, shows why farmers who were finally able to plant corn this spring are looking for ways to keep late-planted corn vigorous and adding yield right up to freezing temps next fall. That would be a change for most Heartland Midwest growers, who’ve often seen corn die prematurely, beginning in late August. On such diseased corn, most green leaves are gone by mid-September.

Below the chart are nutritional strategies to keep corn green and adding kernel depth and test weight. That can add up to 40 more bushels of high-density yield. 

Boldface comments below this chart are by Bill Fordham. Several chart analysts see the possibility of another $1 gain in Dec. corn before the usual late-June decline sets in.


Probably only a fourth of the corn growers in our region of north central Iowa equip their planters for in-furrow application. And this spring, some of those didn’t apply in-furrow products because they wanted to keep their planter light to avoid compaction and avoid stopping to refill tanks. Here’s a list “what to do now” and through the growing season. Don’t put away your sprayer — especially a high-clearance sprayer for applications after brown silk and even later.

1. If your corn is still not much beyond V2 or V3, foliar-spray:

A microbial blend, a biostimulant