Check corn now, estimate fall yields

Tony Nye - OSU Extension

We got a great rain this week, and we could use more for this growing crop.

I can’t believe I am saying this after all the rain we have had since last fall and spring. Our area of Ohio and others were actually starting to register on certain national weather maps as minor drought stress.

At home on the Nye farm, we had only a little more than an inch of rain since Clinton County fair week prior to Tuesday, and then only received a a little over an inch. Tuesday’s rain of more than an inch was the largest rain event we had had in one day since sometime in June.

I think everyone got a good rain, but certain reports noted 3-plus inches fell on parts of Clinton County Tuesday. Prior to the rain, crops were definitely showing stress and that is one thing our crops do not need any more of.

Now that much of our corn has pollinated, how many of you have been taking some yield estimates? I have been very happy and surprised by some of the yield estimates I have been hearing from different producers.

If you haven’t gotten into your fields I suggest you get some yield estimates. The method that is most used at this time is the Yield Component Method.

In the past, the Yield Component Method equation used a “fudge factor” of 90 (as the average value for kernel weight, expressed as 90,000 kernels per 56 lb bushel), but kernel size has increased as hybrids have improved over the years.

Dr. Bob Nielsen at Purdue University suggests that a “fudge factor” of 80 to 85 (85,000 kernels per 56 lb bushel) is a more realistic value to use in the yield estimation equation today. You might also check with your seed representative to determine that “fudge factor”.

Calculate estimated grain yield as follows:

Step 1. Count the number of harvestable ears in a length of row equivalent to 1/1000th acre. For 30‑inch rows, this would be 17 ft. 5 in.

Step 2. On every fifth ear, count the number of kernel rows per ear and determine the average.

Step 3. On each of these ears count the number of kernels per row and determine the average. (Do not count kernels on either the butt or tip of the ear that are less than half the size of normal size kernels.)

Step 4. Yield (bushels per acre) equals (ear #) x (avg. row #) x (avg. kernel #) divided by 90.

Step 5. Repeat the procedure for at least four additional sites across the field. Given the highly variable conditions present in many late planted and stressed fields, repeat the procedure throughout field as many times as you think appropriate, then calculate the average yield for all the sites to make a yield assessment of the entire field.

Good luck and remember this is only an estimate and we have a long way to go with some of these fields before we get to black layer (physiological maturity).

SWCD annual

Also this week I wanted to share that the Clinton County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) annual meeting & banquet is set for Thursday, Aug. 29 beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the Kelly Center on the campus of Wilmington College. Dinner will be served at 6 p.m.

This year’s featured speaker will be the one and only Dale Minyo of Ohio’s Country Journal and the Ohio AG Net. I am sure he will have a great story to tell related to agriculture.

The SWCD will also be conducting their election for supervisors throughout the event and there will be a presentation of this year’s Coblenz Scholarship winners.

For more information and to make reservations, contact the Clinton County SWCD by calling 937-382-0901. Cost of the meal tickets are $12. They tell me the presentation portion is free and open to the public.

Prevented acres

Finally this week I wanted to share what some of our neighboring counties in Ohio didn’t get planted this year.

Prevented acres (Top 10 Ohio Counties) for 2019 were: Wood 120,480, Hardin 91,389, Defiance 84,198, Seneca 74,635, Hancock 74,169, Henry 71,083, Fulton 70,515, Paulding 62,567, Williams 60,373, and Wyandot 53,860.

These counties alone account for 763,268 acres. There are certainly more counties that account for several more thousands of acres across the Midwest. Makes you wonder where USDA got their planted crop acres for their latest crop report this past week. Hmmmm …

Tony Nye is the state coordinator for the Ohio State University Extension Small Farm Program and has been an OSU Extension Educator for agriculture and natural resources for over 30 years, currently serving Clinton County and the Miami Valley EERA.

Tony Nye

OSU Extension