Pinch and Push to Set Your Harvest Schedule
Existing and potential stalk and root lodging, disease pressure and moisture content can affect the order in which fields are harvested. Develop a harvest schedule that can help minimize lodging and harvest loss.
Two methods to determine stalk integrity are the pinch test and the push test. Conduct the pinch test by squeezing the second or third internodes above the ground. If it collapses, the stalk quality is quality is compromised.
The push test is performed by pushing a corn stalk to approximately a 45-degree angle. If it breaks, stalk quality has been reduced. Conduct either test on 10 plants in a row, at several locations in the field. If more than 10% of the stalks tested show poor stalk quality, or lodge at the root, the field should be slated for early harvest.