Monday, November 18, 2013

Early Bird Meetings this Week

Chad Lee, Extension Agronomist, University of Kentucky

The Early Bird meetings are this Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (Nov. 18, 19 and 20, 2013). The meetings are located at Morganfield (Monday), Sedalia (Tuesday) and Hopkinsville (Wednesday). Even with tornado damage in the Union County area, turnout is respectable at the first of the three meetings. Topics include the latest research results on disease management, weed management, soil fertility, proper grain storage, insecticides and the challenges of looming high rents and lower commodity prices.

Each of the three meetings starts at 8:30 am and ends with lunch, which is sponsored by the Kentucky Corn Growers Association, Kentucky Soybean Board and Kentucky Small Grain Growers Association.

Click here for more information about the meetings.

Friday, November 15, 2013

2013 Kentucky Corn Yield Contest Deadline Delayed

Chad Lee, Extension Agronomist, University of Kentucky

The 2013 Kentucky Corn Yield Contest deadline has been delayed until November 29, 2013. We have several farmers who still need to harvest corn and want to enter the contest. Corn harvest across the state has been delayed this year and that prompted the extension of the deadline.

This Kentucky deadline does not change the NCGA Corn Contest, which has a deadline of November 22, 2013.

Kentucky Corn Contest Form
NCGA Harvest Report Form

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

2013 Hybrid Corn Performance Test

Chad Lee, Extension Agronomist, University of Kentucky

The 2013 Kentucky Hybrid Corn Performance Test is available online as a pdf file. A website with links to individual tests is here:

The test includes hybrids in the early, medium and late maturities as well as a white corn test. Yields from five locations across Kentucky are reported this year. Yields were excellent. The average yield was 181.8 bu/A for the Early Test, 186.8 bu/A for the Medium Test, 203.5 bu/A for the Late Test and 156.3 for the White Test. 

Corn Numbers on Food vs. Fuel

Chad Lee, Extension Agronomist, University of Kentucky

There is a lot of recent discussion about corn for food versus corn for fuel. Here are some numbers on corn in the United States that seem to be lost in this discussion

Based on 2011 estimates, corn for direct food consumption was about 5 to10% of total U.S. production. Fuel ethanol was 38%, feed and residual was 38%, and exports were 14%. (Source: USDA-ERS Yearbook).

Friday, November 1, 2013

Corn Knocked Down from High Winds

Chad Lee, Extension Agronomist, University of Kentucky

Corn downed by high winds on October 31, 2013.
Image courtesy Eric Baker
October left with a blast. High winds across the state blew in odd directions and over some corn fields. We knew this was going to be a risk this fall. The heavy ears, shallow roots and slow drydown all created a risk for downed corn. The high winds also brought rains, meaning that harvest will not resume for several days. What can we do now?

We can start by inspecting fields. Identify the fields where corn is down and fields where corn is standing. If corn is standing, check stalk strength with the grab test. (Grab the corn stalks at shoulder height, pull or push about 18 inches off center and release. If the corn stalks remain upright, stalk strength is good. If not, stalk strength is weaker.) Identify the grain moisture in all fields.

Freeze Damage to Soybeans and Harvest Options

Chad Lee, Extension Agronomist, University of Kentucky

Freeze Damaged Soybeans. Image courtesy of Curt Judy
The freezing temperatures wilted leaves and killed soybeans in some fields across Kentucky. Now that temperatures have warmed up again, we can better determine how to manage the crop from here.

The vast majority of soybeans were done growing and seeds were in the process of drying down. Those plants were at full maturity where the leaves had dropped, the pods were brown or tan and the seeds were yellow instead of green. Seed moisture was less than 20%. For those soybeans, the freeze events delayed drydown a little but did not harm the plants or the yield.