On Sept. 16 Jason Brenner was getting ready to harvest corn on his Fairfield County farm. The field was planted was among the very few in the state planted on April 14 and it was at 25% to 30% moisture.
Brenner said steady rains though the season more than made up for the late start for most of the crop. Their planting season did not wrap up until early June and the rest of the corn crop still needs quite a bit more time to dry down.
Just before the combine started rolling, Sean Rittinger, a Channel district sales manager, arrived at the Brenner farm to conduct the final step for the Channel Field Check Up Series program where Channel seedsmen work with their farmer customers throughout the growing season to observe and monitor crop development. They walk the fields at four distinct periods of the season to learn their challenges so they can help diagnose issues and provide custom recommendations to help maximize their yield and profitability. Last season, Channel conducted more than 3,200 Field Check Up visits on 2.1 million acres. For 2011, this program has been expanded to help more farmers optimize their corn and soybean crops from planting through harvest. The fields are checked at emergence, around V6, pollination and just before harvest.
Brenner’s field had a 112-day SmartStax hybrid and a 114-day VT Pro hybrid. There were a few very minor stalk problems found in the 114-day hybrid, but none that would result in any harvest challenges or yield loss.
“This field should probably be harvested in the next two or three weeks to avoid any possible stalk quality problems, and since it is being harvested today there should be no problems,” Rittinger said. “It looks like it will have yields averaging around 200 bushels.”
Statewide, Rittinger has seen some pollination problems from the heat and a wide variation in yields.