Maximize Yield by Reducing Harvest Losses

1We have seen much variability across Latham Country this season. Tough planting weather in the North, drought in Central Iowa, too much moisture in parts of Minnesota and then the huge wind event in central Iowa. With all of that said, we continue to see some great corn crops developing across the area. The Latham corn hybrids look great where Mother Nature did not affect them negatively. Overall, we look forward to a great harvest.

You have put a lot of effort and capital into growing your 2020 corn crop. Maximize what you harvest this season by putting a harvesting plan together that will help you in every field. Below are some tips in putting that plan together.

Identify fields with potential problems:

  • Walk each of your fields and look for any problem areas where your corn may not be standing as well as expected
  • Note these fields and make them priorities for harvest
  • Remind yourself of hybrids planted in a field and their late season characteristics to aid in creating your harvest schedule

Check moisture regularly prior to harvest

  • Begin harvest at 25% moisture or slightly above in those problem fields
  • Best standing/disease free fields can be scheduled for end of harvest

Prepare equipment well

  • Spend time with your machinery in maintenance and proper settings
  • Be prepared to adjust equipment for the potential variability between fields
    • Check for field loss frequently
      • Build a one-square-foot frame and toss it on the ground in multiple areas that have been harvested (2 kernels in the square = 1 bu/A loss)
    • Check that you are fully shelling each ear (no grain left on cob)

These are just a few tips will help you make the most of your 2020 corn crop. Harvesting is always a good time to look to the future, as well. To maximize yields on your farm every year, each field should be managed for its specific capabilities. As you harvest, identify better and poorer performing areas; don’t just focus on poorer areas. Compare the two to see what is different and what may be causing the performance variability. Using the Latham Seeds Data Forward™ tool is a great way to get ahead on your 2021 management by field. It can help you identify water issues, nutrient issues, weed problems etc. Use this information along with hybrid recommendations from your Latham dealer to maximize your 2021 corn production.