Re: Corn Loss From Diseases
Dunno, just like everybody else.
I couldn't quantify it but always believed that the advent of the triple seed fungicide treatments (what, sometime in the 90s?) probably had as much to do with yield gains as anything genetic. I was suddenly a pretty good farmer- I'd get a 28k stand and only dropped 27 (ok, maybe I didn't check the inflation on the drive tire).
Surely a given that there is more disease pressure with higher pops, more CoC etc.
I also can't get it out of the back of my mind to be considering Don Huber's assertions on glyphosate saturation and plant immune response.
A mostly unrelated topic. Can't help but notice when driving about that there are very new large planters everywhere. In theory, better planters ought to be adding some yield if studies on drop and spacing are to believed. Although as noted above, trend advance is from the whole package, not just genetics although your seed rep will be glad to take all the credit.
A further aside. I recall a conversation with a young farmer who I'd regard as very particlar on equipment matters. He'd been doing contract work for a chem company calibrating insecticide boxes. His observation was that he was shocked at how poorly prepared so many planters were, even those that were big, newer and sitting in pretty upscale environments.
Which I guess also speaks to my earlier question- a newer planter probably has less opportunity to suffer from neglect.
It all leads me to believe that we have the potential to blow the lid off the record should the weather someday persent a '94 or '04 kind of year. Unless you assume that climate is no longer capable, or disease has become unmanageable or something.
Also contributing to trend beyond genetics, most medium grade Indiana soils are surely a heckuva lot mellower following a decade or two of gentler treatment than they were back in the old clod beatin' days. I assume that applies other places as well and certainly contributes.
Nice to be thinking about planters and planting, anyway.