One of the questions Pioneer field agronomist Gary Brinkman has been asked this season, especially farmers north of Lansing, is why their corn is still wet. He said these are farmers who planted beginning to middle of May and are still seeing 30 percent moisture corn.
“It really goes back to two things—primarily our lack of heat in May and June,” said Brinkman. “The very cool spring we had slowed crop development. We have not gotten enough GDUs [growing degree units].”
In a typical year, Brinkman said October is a drying month for Michigan’s corn crop. However, that isn’t the case this year.
“If you look at the conditions we had in October, we had lower GDUs, and we had a lack of sunshine,” he said. “That solar radiation is very critical to helping corn dry down.”
When moistures are below 25 percent, it generally takes 40 GDUs to remove one point of moisture. Headed into November, the forecast doesn’t appear to be favorable to dry the crop down. Brinkman is urging farmers to not wait to harvest corn.
“If you have a dryer, especially natural gas, go after it and get it out of the field before the snow comes,” said Brinkman.
There has been one bright spot to harvest with late planted soybeans. Brinkman said yields are strong for the crop planted between June 10 and June 20.
“We are seeing a lot of yields come into the high 40s, low 50s, which that’s exciting because when we put it in that late, you never know what you’re going to get,” he said.
For more information, talk to your local Pioneer agronomist.