Overall A Great Finish for 2020 Corn. Start Strong on Your 2021 Corn.

As I check around the state, most growers are pleased with better than average corn yields.  In fact, yesterday’s NASS crop report suggest Georgia corn growers will harvest a record 181 bushel per acre corn yield. The quality is good and test weights are higher than usual in a lot of cases.  Many growers report 10 to 20% better yields of which we all are grateful for due to the lower prices this year.

It looks like there is going to be a record national yield of 181.8 bushels per acre but this does not account for the storm that leveled a portion of the Midwest crop last week.  Satellite imagery suggest that 10 to 12 million acres were affected by high winds which may reduce production estimates.  Overall, current estimates are for a record production of 15.27 billion bushels. Planted acres are estimated at 92 million acres (with potential 84 million acres harvested).  Ending stocks are forecast to be 2.2 billion.  Even with all this said, prices are up today.

If you are storing your corn to market later this year, make sure to keep a watchful eye by monitoring your grain while in storage.  I encourage all of you that store your corn to pull air through the bins as night temperatures drop to 600 F to help reduce stored-grain insect pressure.

If you are  looking for tips on proper storage and management then I suggest going to : https://grains.caes.uga.edu/content/dam/caes-subsite/grains/docs/corn/2020-Corn-Production-Guide.pdf , page 74.  You will find proven and effective recommendations on proper storage in the 2020 Corn Production Guide.

As you finish 2020 in all your crops, it is certainly not too early to start your 2021 season by doing things that are helpful.  First, pull nematode samples in all your fields, immediately after harvesting your 2020 crop.  For instance, now is the time to pull nematode samples immediately behind your corn crop.

Nematodes at harvest

This will give you some indication what you will face regarding the kinds of nematodes that could affect next year’s crop whether it be cotton, peanuts, corn, soybeans, etc.  I am assuming that most of you rotate therefore, it is important to pull samples behind peanuts and cotton to see what nematodes may have an affect on your corn crop.  IF you see any stubby root or sting nematodes in your samples in fields that you plan to plant corn in 2021, then plan to use a nematicide at planting.  Nematodes cost Georgia growers in yield and value a lot more than it cost to suppress or control them.

Early season infestation of stubby root nematodes

If your samples suggest a high number of either stubby or stings, then I might consider using Telone in those field where these two currently reside.  Read Dr. Kemerait’s recommendations on nematode controls on page 60 in the guide at:  https://grains.caes.uga.edu/content/dam/caes-subsite/grains/docs/corn/2020-Corn-Production-Guide.pdf.

I am pleased for the success in corn production this year, and hope that you can build on these successes. Review 2020 practices and look for areas or practices that you know you were behind in or that set your crop back a little bit and make changes for the better. Paying attention to the details and studying the crop and your management closely each year will pay great dividends in your future.

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