News > 2020.09.16 CFS Growing Insights

2020.09.16 CFS Growing Insights

Sep 16, 2020

Conditions Update
Crop progress across MN from the week ending September 13th, 2020 has corn conditions at 22% excellent (25% last week), 54% good (53%), 18% fair (16%), and 6% poor/very poor (6%). Soybean conditions are at 17% excellent (20% last week), 60% good (59%), 18% fair (17%), and 5% poor/very poor (7%).

The average high’s this time of year are in the mid-70’s with lows near 50-degrees, and it looks like we’ll have a few days above-average to finish the corn crop and help start the dry down process!
Corn Dry Down
One of the benefits of planting early in 2020 with above-average GDU’s is that corn should be able to naturally dry down in fields in a warmer part of fall than 2019. It takes about 300 GDU’s to reduce each percentage point of grain moisture content between 30%-25%. Once grain dries past 25%, grain dries at a rate of one moisture point per 45 GDU’s between 25%-20%.

Updated research from the University of MN gives a guideline on what to expect for dry down once corn reaches black layer (30%-33% corn). These rates can vary dramatically depending on weather conditions:
  • 0.75 to 1.0 percentage points per day during September 15-25
  • 0.5 to 0.75 percentage points per day during September 26 to October 5
  • 0.25 to 0.5 percentage points per day during October 6-15
  • 0 to 0.33 percentage points per day after October 15
For example, if corn hits black layer on September 20th (32% moisture), it could reach 28.25% by September 25th, 25.75% by October 1st, and 24.5% by October 5th just using averages. You can do the math for your farm by estimating when black layer will hit!
Corn Dry Down Process
As corn maturity nears for the majority of corn acres across southern MN, differences in dry down rates will be prevalent across different hybrids as combines enter fields. Dry down rates are dependent on temperature, humidity, sunshine, and rain, but hybrid characteristics can also influence the rate of moisture loss.
Hybrid differences may include:
  • Husk tightness
  • Husk coverage over the ear
  • Husk leaf number and thickness
  • Kernel outer layer thickness
  • Husk leaf senescence
  • Ear position (upright or downward)
As you begin to estimate when corn will reach acceptable moisture for harvest, understanding hybrid characteristics can help estimates be more accurate, and to know which hybrids may hold onto moisture longer into the season.

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