Pre-Harvest Check Up

Ag technology can help determine harvestability amongst your fields.  Utilizing in-season imagery and field monitoring tools will help identify healthy areas and potential problem areas within your fields.  After identifying healthy and potential problem areas it is important to go and ground truth those areas to gain a better understanding of what makes them good and bad.

When ground truthing your fields the following areas should be noted as they will be another factor into identifying the harvestability of your fields.

  • Better staygreen has ability to stand in field longer for dry-down
  • Less staygreen should be considered for an early harvest, but they normally have drier grain
Root and Stalk Health
  • Dig up roots and look for insect feeding, compaction, root diseases and overall health and size
  • Cut the stalk open and look for crown or stalk rot.  Keep an eye out for corn borer tunneling
  • While walking fields push plants an arm length away
    • Plants that push away easy and don’t come back up have the potential for root lodging issues
    • Stalks that stay bent have the potential for stalk lodging issues
    • If the percentage of plants effective are greater than 10%-15% should be considered an early harvest
Leaf Tissue
  • Identify any lower leaf firing due to moisture or nutrient deficiencies
  • Look for any leaf diseases
    • Anthracnose: can indicate early death or lodging
Pollination Success/Maturity
  • Count kernel rows and kernels per row
  • If kernel rows lost could be caused by nutrient/ moisture deficiency, chemical application or physical damage
  • Kernels missing from the ear could mean there was poor pollination conditions or silk feeding by insects
  • Be on the look out for signs of earworm or fall armyworm feeding
  • Yield estimation formula: {(# of rows) X (# of kernels long) X (# ears per 1000th of acre (17.5’ in 30” rows))} ÷ 90 (approx 90,000 kernels per bushel)
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