cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
jennys_mn
Veteran Advisor

Corn Still Standing

Took a trip back up to Detroit Lakes, MN yesterday. Along Hwy 10 I still saw at least 5 fields of corn still standing. I have to wonder how many fields here are still standing, and how many farmers are rethinking that decision seeing snow up to the tassels in these fields. I've talk he'd about all the issues dealing with this stuff before. I'm glad it's not mine.

I also saw 2 elevators with their dryers running. Both were in town, so I suspect that they were using NG. Last years harvest won't be done for some of these farmers until summer, and some will probably be looking at prevented planting as it will be a long time for those fields to dry out to enable harvest, let alone try and get the fields dry enough to till. And I have to wonder about the quality of the corn who ears are in snow most of the winter.

Weather patterns still look like they are getting stuck. It's been that way for a quite a while now. Something has changed, and the stuck patterns may just be our new "normal". That would bode poorly for ag. I rather doubt that the USDA has included that in their "grand plan" for the next decade.

Put me in the 'anti USDA projection' camp. After going to the grocery yesterday, the one item that really caused sticker shock for me was soda. Not long ago on sale you could get Coke or Pepsi for 0.75 for a two liter. Yesterday, I couldn't get a single liter for that. Anyone that thinks that farmers can grow corn for the next ten years for less than 4.00 a bushel must've made a trip to Colorado and had a bit too much wacky weed. Or, they are foretelling a collapse of the farm or general economy that drops our prices in half. I don't see that happening - but who knows.

Jen
0 Kudos
3 Replies
farmerguy89
Advisor

Re: Corn Still Standing

its worse in some areas jenny. where I am in Ontario there is corn fields everywhere. I can drive past way more than 5 on the way to the closest elevator. I am sure ares in michign/wisconsin an around the great lakes got hit by lake effect/ whatever i got here and have much corn out. 90% of mine is stillin the field to date.

 

what do you think will happen to ears under snow cover? theres  alot like that.. i read abut prarie guys leaving canola/barly/wheat out in the winter and harvestin it in the sprig ad thought maybe id be alright, that was n te fall.

0 Kudos
jennys_mn
Veteran Advisor

Re: Corn Still Standing

In dry winter conditions, it may not be so bad. But this year it's a horrific setup. Since the husks have opened, moisture gets back into the kernels - and with the deep snow they don't dry out, and the corn molds on the cob.

But, that's just the tip of the problem. Add in the corn that's taken down, the extra snow in the field that takes longer to thaw because it's shaded by the stalks. You think you'll get out early on the frost to combine it, but find you can't because some spots of the field have warmed the ground from below, and soil below the snow is thawed out, and wet. As you drive through the field with the combine, it's constantly bouncing around because of areas that are thawed and others that aren't. So you decide to wait until the snow is gone. Now the ground stays cold and won't dry out because of the stalks. By the time you get it off, everyone else is planting. So after you get it combined, you go out to chisel or plow it, only to find that the ground is too wet and cold to plow. But you plow it anyway where you can, because you have to get it done. The hot sun now bakes the plowed ground into rocks, spring rains are now long gone, and you plant into the soil rocks you created. And it goes on, and on, and on.

I saw a neighbor play this out just a few years ago. 50% of the crop he had in the fall stayed in the field. Maybe more by all the volunteer corn that grew in the beans that he finally got planted the end of June, which didn't make it to production because it froze off in the fall. He sold the farm that fall, about 7 years ago. It was horrific. It's not to say it will always turn out like this. In the sands by Cannon Falls, I've seen this work in years that didn't have a lot of snow. This year - good luck.

Jen
0 Kudos
Jim Meade / Iowa City
Senior Advisor

Re: Corn Still Standing

I know of only one set of corn fields standing,  Farmer had a late season combine breakdown. 

0 Kudos