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04-17-2013 10:41 PM
Interesting comments that suggest that the irrigated corn held up the yields quite well and maybe covered how bad the dry-land corn was.
The 2012 drought in the U.S. devastated non-irrigated corn yields. Depending on the measure of trend deviation, the drop in yield relative to trend was either the worst in the last half-century or in the top three. This is an important data point with respect to the ongoing debate about the drought tolerance of U.S. corn production. Regardless whether drought tolerance has actually improved, 2012 demonstrated in rather spectacular fashion that widespread drought leads to sizable reductions in non-irrigated corn yields relative to trend. More directly, there is still no substitute for a cool, wet July in terms of U.S. corn production.
Issued by Scott Irwin
Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics
University of Illinois"
04-18-2013 12:32 AM
A good article and a question I posed this last fall several times. It has become clear at least to me, that we do not have a handle on actual acres or % of production under irrigation production. Crop insurance should give us some clues but there are many acres that do not fall into crop insurance coverage. And it is very hard to seperate the acres that fall in the middle, that either do not have enough water to produce without suplimental rainfall(most of our irrig. acres) or only use the irrigation in dry years-------- there is a lot of gray area in the middle.
Having seen irrigation projects in Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, and Arkansas, and having lived with the western cornbelt production. I would say 10% is way too conservative and probably represents a much higher % of bushels than acres.
Companies owning seed production promoted the lie that national yield has trended upward because of their great work, when in fact it has been the development and expansion of irrigation and no-til/ minimum til management.(which does in fact include the chemical advances)
Irrigated yields are much better than the yields on the chart, they have been for years----and. I would suspect the dry land yields on the chart are therefore over estimated
Which brings up the missleading facts of the article----------------assume Irrigated yields are nearer 200-220 in normal years. I would say that bushels loss are just as high on irrigated acres as they are on dry land----- assuming the realistic average for dry land acres is 130 comparably on average years --country wide. Drought takes at least as many bushels away from irrigation acres as dry land. Much of the damage comes from Heat and low humidity---------- not just lack of water. Most of irrigation is suplemental irrigation. Very few of our irrigated acres have the ability to produce maximum yield without rainfall. That is the myth being promoted here.
04-18-2013 01:31 PM
Thanks Jim -- you alway post good stuff or maybe I should say Interesting .
sw -- very good post ! You bring up some very good points too .
If I look back to 83 , 88 and 12 , your 100 % right - really my corn in 83 and 88 was a lot better than my super doper 300 dollar a bag of crap , It's funny how things work out , but i have fields that were in corn in all three years -- (83 88 12 ) I can still remember them well , in 83 one field made 120 , then in 88 , the same one went 132 AND for 12 ?? 88 bpa -- thats it .
Indiana has everything in ground -- sandy in the Southwest ,hill on the south east with white clay -- river bottoms -- gravel -- good black dirt -- blow sand up north . You name it . alot of water in the north , and in the southwest -- yet Indiana's average was what ? Something like 98 to 100 ? That just go's to prove your point that the non irrigated was worse .
04-18-2013 03:33 PM - edited 04-18-2013 03:44 PM
ECIN...you might want to reconsider your thoughts.
What were your planting dates in 83/88/12? Similar planting dates in 2012 yielded quite a bit more than 83 and 88 in our area. Almost no one planted corn before 4/20 back in 83/88. To claim the genetics have not improved since 83 or 88 is certainly not supported by the evidence. Mountains of deep statistical evidence. Lots or fields in Tipton County did 190 last year with 20 days over 100 degrees. The new corn genetics can take the heat amazingly well, it just needs water (which Tipton County received in late July/August) to fuel the photosynthesis part.
Everyone forgets that the super early planting last year greatly compounded the drought impact. A reasoned spreading out of the planting window yielded the expected result of spreading out the risk and dramatically increasing the average yield.
04-18-2013 10:40 PM
Time: I think you are still going crazy with last years heat LOL! I really don't think genetics had much to do with yield last year, they all cooked the same. I had a neighbor plant a field near my home with a certain companies drought resistant corn and it may have been some of the worst corn I seen all year. Most corn grown in my area suffered 60% yield losses. You brought up a good point though. The best corn I seen last year was planted the second week of May and got nice late season rains. The only field of corn I had out last year I planted it the 20th of April and it went 52 bu while across the fence from me, my neighbor planted his corn the 2nd week of May and his corn went 200 bu. Timing seemed to be everything last year.. or any year for that matter. Early planting has done nothing positive for corn yields over the past few years HERE except make the corn at harvest a little dryer.
04-18-2013 10:57 PM
When heat exceeds 95 degrees and doesn't cool down nights, the pollen gets "cooked" and much of it is rendered sterile. Irrigation is nice, but it doesn't overcome extreme heat.
Captain Obvious says we're going to be planting later this year so who knows when (if) the heat will be excessive at pollination time?
Might be time to consider switching more acres to soybeans. The USDA seems intent on pushing fall corn prices down.
04-19-2013 08:15 AM - edited 04-19-2013 08:18 AM
Morning all : Time : Tipton county ? Boy there is some dang GOOD dirt there !
As far as planting dates here , 83,88 and 12 were pretty close , yes even back in 83 and 88 we started around the 22nd of April - but Good rule of thumb would be the last week of April .
My post yesterday was very poor ! What i attempted to say was that the newest seed corn did not fair any better here and he older stuff --- Yes the New genetics are better --to a point -- such as bug and disease controll plus the weed control -- also to a point .
The biggest difference between 83 - 88 and 12 would be population - back in 83 , 88 it wooud have been around 26,000 and 12 was at 33,760 , did the higher pops. hurt me ? i really doubt it .
Jput to me hit the nail on the head ! Respiration was the key , I may be alittle rusty here so anybody jump in and help me out , but as day time temps hit 86 or above then the photosynthesis slows ---at the same time as the night time temps increase it's the reverse -- the plants burn more of the sugars to cool themselfs , this leaves less sugars to help make grain , They just ran out of gas , this is what I think we seen here in Shelby County .
Heres a little clip of an artical from King Corn : The adoption of hybrid corn by growers after the Dust Bowl years resulted in the first significant improvement in corn productivity and led to an annual rate of yield improvement of about 0.8 bu/ac/year from about 1937 through about 1955 (Fig. 1). A second significant shift in the annual rate of yield improvement occurred in the mid-1950's due to a combination of improved genetics, availability of N fertilizer and chemical pesticides, and mechanization (Fig. 1). Since 1955, corn grain yields in the U.S. have increased at a fairly constant 1.9 bushels per acre per year primarily due to sustained improvements in genetics and production technologies (Fig. 1). Some question whether the yield trend line has shifted again in recent years due to the advent of transgenic hybrid technology in the mid-1990's, but the data show little evidence that a third significant shift in corn productivity has occurred
04-19-2013 09:36 AM
Seed improvement--------------------- This is a bit of a vision test---------- depending on location.
-----------Disclaimer--------- I do believe there has been variety improvement---------------- a little, the selection process will always bring on some improvements--- Small improvementsThat cannot be explained away by other factors(weed control, the increased use of rotations with legumes, irrigation improvements, fertilizer use and placement, equipment, tech advancements, management--- all of which have made as big or bigger strides than seed.)---- keep in mind that trait imposition like roundup ready is not a yield improving act. It is a weed control enhancement. Weed control improves yield, but is not a reproductive improvement in the seed.
Being a little more "southern" than most of the corn belt, I can report what an old guy has seen in seed improvement. ------ They have taken 4-5 days off the maturity of the strong yielding varieties. 112-114 day hybrids are yielding like 118-120 day hybrids did 40 years ago, and more faster producing varieties are developed as well. Not sure some of this is much more than relabeling and the inability of hybrids to stay green after the ear is produced but------- That is in fact -- improvement. And for the folks up north who were planting anything that would make it before a freeze, it looks big----- in a late planting year like this------- it is big.
The forked tongue sales folks will tell you (the myth mob) it translates to more bushels with less water. The drought and I tell you that may not be true. It may still take x amount of water to build x bushels, but corn may need that same amount of water in a shorter time period than it used to.
One has to try to keep the facts and the promotion seperate if possible.