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Should Growers Leave Corn to Dry in the Field or Pay to Dry It?

Some producers might have seen these early harvest windows as an opportunity to cut soybeans and leave corn in the field to dry down.

However, Pioneer agronomist Gary Brinkman says he’s an advocate of harvesting early.

“My motto is if you’re going to err, you err early in agriculture,” he said. “Our weather can get pretty adverse—we can get some really strong winds in the fall. If my corn is anywhere near 24 or 25 percent, I will be harvesting it.”

Brinkman has been walking a lot of fields, and he says stalk integrity is on the decline.

“There’s a lot of plants that are starting to lodge, and that will slow harvest and increase the probability of grain loss,” he said. “It’s really important growers take advantage of the weather, get as much of their crop, especially corn and soybeans, harvested. It’s time to harvest corn.”

Brinkman said some of the early-season hybrids he’s seen being harvested have moisture levels in the upper teens, mid-season varieties 19 to 20 percent, and full season 23 to 24 percent. As for yields, Brinkman said they’re good.

“We were very hot and dry in August, and that took the edge off a lot of what looked like very high-yielding fields,” he said. “We harvested a plot that normally is well above 200, and it was struggling to make 200 bushels. Variability is the name of the game.”

This agronomy update was made possible by Pioneer.