Prioritizing Fields

Prioritizing Fields

Be sure to prioritize corn fields for harvesting by maturity and standability as harvest continues. Scout fields regularly as the fall progresses, and/or rely on your seed provider to check fields and provide insight on any fields that may need to be harvested first. Hybrids will vary on late season intactness. Use the “push and pinch” stalk strength tests when checking these fields for any potential standability issues. Do this by pushing the upper part of the stalk so the tassel reaches the adjacent row to make sure they do not break or kink. Then, follow this and perform the squeeze test by grabbing the lower stalk between nodes about 8-10 inches above the ground and squeezing the stalk to check the stalk’s rigidity. Prioritize harvesting fields with higher incidence of breaking or crushing when performing either of these checks. Standability issues are most often found in fields that ran short on nutrients or moisture throughout the year. Such as any bottom or low-lying fields where water may have ponded at some point throughout the season causing nutrient loss. Corn plants will mobilize nutrients from within the plant and put it to the ear, causing the potential for stalk rots and lowered stalk strength.