Friday, November 20, 2015

2015 Wisconsin Corn Hybrid Performance Trials

Grain - Silage - Specialty - Organic
Every year, the University of Wisconsin Extension-Madison and College of Agricultural and Life Sciences conduct a corn evaluation program, in cooperation with the Wisconsin Crop Improvement Association. The purpose of this program is to provide unbiased performance comparisons of hybrid seed corn available in Wisconsin. These trials evaluate corn hybrids for both grain and silage production performance. In 2015, grain and silage performance trials were planted at fourteen locations ... more

Situation: A one bushel increase by Wisconsin corn farmers increases farm income $8 to $32 million dollars depending upon corn price.

Objective: To provide unbiased performance comparisons of hybrid seed corn available in Wisconsin.

These results are a ''Consumer Report'' for commercial corn hybrids. The trials evaluate grain, silage, and systems including organic, transgenic and refugia systems.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Temporary Corn Grain Storage Tips

Due to high yields in some areas of Wisconsin, farmers are searching for temporary grain storage options this year. Picking sites that are elevated and have good drainage is the key to storing grain on the ground. The risk of crop loss is higher when grain is stored on the ground than in bins, so ground piles should be considered short-term storage and monitored frequently.

The success of storing grain on the ground depends on a combination of variables that can be controlled, such as site preparation, storage design, use of aeration and storage management, and factors that can’t, such as the weather.

Advice for preventing crop loss:
  • Select a site that’s elevated, has good drainage and is large enough to accommodate the volume of crop being stored and has roughly 130 feet of turnaround space for trucks dropping off the grain.
  • Prepare a pad for the grain to rest on by mixing lime, fly ash or cement in the soil to prevent soil moisture from wetting the grain. Make a concrete or asphalt pad if the site will be used for several years.
  • Create a crown in the middle of the pad with a gradual slope away from the center for water drainage. Also make sure the area around the pad drains well.
  • Run piles north and south to allow the sun to dry the sloping sides.
  • Build a retaining wall to increase storage capacity.
  • Place only cool (less than 60 F), dry, clean grain on the ground. Maximize pile size to reduce the ratio of grain on the surface, which is exposed to potential weather damage, to the total grain volume.
  • Build the pile uniformly for maximum grain surface slope and avoid creating hills, valleys, folds and crevices that will collect water.
  • Form the pile quickly and cover it immediately to minimize its exposure to moisture, wind and birds.
  • Install an aeration system to cool the grain so its temperature is uniform and equal to the average outdoor temperature. Cool temperatures minimize mold growth, limit moisture movement and control insects.
  • Check grain temperatures and moisture content at several locations in the pile every two to three weeks.
  • Frequently check the pile’s cover for rodent-caused perforations, damage from wind or ice, worn spots and vandalism, and make repairs.
  • Inspect retaining walls for separation or movement at the connections and deterioration of the materials in the walls. Also make sure wall anchors still are holding.
  • When removing the grain, load it from the center of the pile to prevent uneven pressure on the retaining wall.
  • Try to separate spoiled grain from the pile to limit the amount of grain that needs cleaning, drying and blending with other grain stored in outdoor piles.

Producers also have alternatives to piling grain on the ground, such as storing grain in empty barns and pole buildings used for machinery storage. Here are some tips when using these buildings:
  •  Make sure the site is well-drained.
  • Strengthen buildings to support the pressure of the stored grain. Most buildings were not designed or built to withstand any pressure on the walls.
  • Check with the building’s manufacturer on how deep to fill the structure with grain.
Further Reading

Wisconsin Corn Agronomy - Storage

Dorn, Thomas.W. , Gerald R. Bodman, and David D. Jones. 1998. Temporary/ Emergency Grain Storage Options. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Herrman, Timothy J., Carl Reed, Joseph P. Harner III, and Adam Heishman.1998. Emergency Storage of Grain: Outdoor Piling. Kansas State University MF-2363 Grain Systems

Maier, Dirk E., and William F. Wilcke. Temporary Grain Storage Considerations. Purdue University

Monday, October 12, 2015

What Can We Learn From the 2015 Season?

The 2015 growing season is rapidly coming to a close. A killing frost has not occurred yet, but it is only a matter of time. Weather during 2015 has been similar to the 30-yr normal (click here and select year under "Weather Graphs" on left side). So 2015 will be characterized as an average year and will be useful to test recommendations based upon average seasons. The more interesting years are when weather is more extreme to see how well recommendations based upon averages hold up!

This year saw delayed planting in northeast Wisconsin. Also, an early season (early July) wind storm along the southern three tiers of counties lodged many fields. Corn that did not snake back up was poor yielding. Northern corn leaf blight was especially prevalent this year.

Use your time in combine seat to scout fields

Harvest provides an opportunity to scout your fields. As you travel through the field, you can observe various types of problems that may have occurred during the growing season. Weeds that were not controlled would be one of the most obvious problems that will show up. With the increase in weeds that are resistant to various herbicide classes, it is important to identify these problems as early as possible in order to control them as early as possible to control increases in populations and movement of the weed. This may also provide some opportunity to begin managing the problem this fall.

Insect and disease problems can also be detected in the fall. Note if particular varieties seem more susceptible to an insect or disease. If one variety or hybrid seems to be more susceptible to disease pressure or insect pressure, then this information could be used in variety or hybrid selection for next year. If all hybrids or varieties are affected similarly, then the cause of the problem needs to be identified to aid in selecting management options for next years crop.

Evaluating Test Plots

This is also the time of year when on-farm strip plots are evaluated. Field variability alone can easily account for differences of 10 to 50 bushels per acre. Be extremely wary of strip plots that are not replicated, or only have "check" or "tester" hybrids inserted between every 5 to 10 hybrids. The best test plots are replicated (with all hybrids replicated at least three times).

Don't put much stock in results from ONE LOCATION AND ONE YEAR, even if the trial is well run and reliable. This is especially important in years with tremendous variability in growing conditions. Years differ and the results from other locations may more closely match your conditions next year. Use data and observations from university trials, local demonstration plots, and then your own on-farm trials to look for consistent trends.
A few suggestions on how to evaluate research test plots:
  1. Walk into plots and check plant populations. Hybrids with large ears or two ears per plant may have thin stands.
  2. Scout for pest problems. Hybrid differences for pest resistance and tolerance should be monitored and noted all season, but will be most apparent in the fall. Counting dropped ears is a good way to measure hybrid ear retention and tolerance to European corn borers.
  3. Check for goose-necked stalks. This is often root pruning caused by corn rootworms. Hybrids differ in their ability to regrow pruned roots.
  4. Find out if the seed treatments (seed applied fungicides and insecticides) applied varied among hybrids planted, e.g. were the hybrids treated with the same seed applied insecticide at the same rate? Differences in treatments may affect final stand and injury caused by insects and diseases.
  5. Differences in standability will not show up until later in the season and/or until after a wind storm. Pinch or split the lower stalk to see whether the stalk pith is beginning to rot.
  6. Break ears in two to check relative kernel development of different hybrids. Hybrids that look most healthy and green may be more immature than others. Don't confuse good late season plant health ("stay green") with late maturity.
  7. Visual observation of ear-tip fill, ear length, number of kernel rows, and kernel depth, etc. don't tell you much about actual yield potential. Hybrid differences are common for tip kernel abortion ("tip dieback" or "tip-back") and "zipper ears" (missing kernel rows). Even if corn ear tips are not filled completely, due to poor pollination or kernel abortion, yield potential may not be affected significantly, if at all, because the numbers of kernels per row may still be above normal.
  8. Be careful with test plots consisting predominately of one company's hybrids. Odds are stacked in their favor!

Further Reading

Wisconsin Corn Agronomy - Data sheet

Wisconsin Corn Agronomy - On Farm Testing 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Corn Harvesting Losses

Grain has been drying exceptionally well during 2015, so many growers will be in the thick of grain harvest this week. All your hard work during the growing season can quickly be lost if your combine is not set correctly during harvest season. Taking some time to thoroughly read and review detailed settings on your specific combine model can help you fine tune changing field conditions and weather.

Sources of grain losses can be broadly divided into pre-harvest losses, gathering losses and machine losses. Remember that every two kernels per square foot equals one bushel of loss per acre.

Pre-harvest Losses

Some losses can occur before the combine even reaches the field. Hybrids differ in their ability to retain grain on the plant due to maturity and ear droppage. One ear (3/4 pound each) in each 1/100 of an acre is equivalent to one bushel per acre. To determine 1/100 of an acre, take the normal 1/1,000 acre distance times ten. For example, in 30-inch rows, 1/1000 of an acre is 17 feet 5 inches; 1/100 acre would be that distance across ten rows. For each ear in that area, there is one bushel per acre loss.

Weather events and the ability of the farmer to be timely can also increase grain loss before the combine even gets to the field.

Gathering Losses

Gathering loss is grain that does not get into combine. Shatter losses caused by the header and can be determined by counting the number of ears and kernels under the header.  More than a half bushel per acre (or one kernel per square foot average) indicates adjustments would be appropriate. Grain can also be lost from stubble losses, stalk losses, and lodged plants.

Machine Losses

Machine loss is due to improper adjustment of threshing, separating and cleaning sections. Threshing loss is indicated by kernels attached to pieces of cob behind the combine. These were not shelled by the rotor or cylinder. Separating losses are additional loose kernels on the ground behind the combine. These were not shaken out of the cobs and husks and were lost over the back of the separator.

How to Measure Losses

Determine average loose kernel loss and cylinder/rotor loss
  1. Every 2 kernels per square foot = 1 bushel per acre
  2. Kernel still attached to cob = cylinder/rotor loss
  3. Acceptable level = 1.2 to 3 kernels per square foot
Determine machine ear loss
  1. Behind combine, gather all ears on 1/100 acre
  2. In front of combine, determine pre-harvest ear loss in standing corn on 1/100 acre
  3. Subtract pre-harvest ear loss from ear loss at the rear of machine
  4. Each 3/4 pound ear = 1 bushel per acre
  5. Each 1/2 pound ear = 2/3 bushel per acre
  6. Acceptable level = 0 to 1.0 bushels per acre
Typical total field loss level = 0.6 to 2.5 bushels per acre. Goal is to limit total field loss to less than half a bushel per acre.

Further Reading

Wisconsin Corn Agronomy - Grain Harvesting

Monday, September 28, 2015

Beautiful Weather for Drying Corn

The recent high pressure ridge that has settled over Wisconsin has meant millions of dollars to farmers in reduced drying costs. The favorable weather of sunny, warm days with little rain has allowed the 2015 corn crop to dry faster than normal. Last week farmers in northern Wisconsin had corn below 25% moisture.

There is a trade-off though. With high fuel prices and/or low grain prices, it is important to let corn grain dry in the field as much as possible, yet hold harvest losses at a reasonable level. Most corn hybrids mature when the grain has about 30% moisture. Ideally harvest should begin around 25% kernel moisture and be complete by the time grain reaches 20%. Corn ears that are too dry can break from the plant and drop to the ground. Also, kernels can shatter off the ear as they are stripped from the plant by the combine head.

Kernel Moisture Ranges (%) for Harvesting Corn for Various Uses
33-40% Kernel moisture = Silage harvest
29-32% Kernel moisture = High Moisture Corn (ensiled)
25-26% Kernel moisture = Ideal for combining
20-23% Kernel moisture = Ideal for picking
 <  20% Kernel moisture = field losses increase, but cost of drying shell corn is reduced

Once the kernel is mature (black layered) the drydown of corn grain is a simple drying process subject to weather conditions and most consistently associated with degree-days (Hallauer and Russell, 1961). Factors that have been shown to speed the rate of drying include premature death (Troyer and Ambrose, 1971), physical structure of the seed coat or pericarp (Purdy and Crane, 1967), a low number off loose, short husks (Troyer and Ambrose, 1971), and ear angle and date of husk death (Cavalieri and Smith, 1985). Factors not associated with faster drydown were husk and shank characteristics and the shape or size of ears (Crane et al., 1959)

This year it will be even more important because of high yields and the potential for lodging, especially for growers with a long harvest season due to acreage demands. In years past, European corn borer caused increased lodging and ear drop. All are reasons to pay attention to corn harvesting. As harvest is delayed from October to December, losses can increase 5 to 18%. Of course there is always a risk of 100% loss due to a storm or some other bad weather event.

Harvest decisions are affected by the kind of drying and storage facilities available and depends upon the use of the grain. Grain stored for a long period of time (> 1 year) must be dried to less than 14% which is not likely in a field situation, so some artificial drying must occur. Corn stored above 15% moisture is subject to heating from the natural respiration of the grain and molds present. As temperatures rise so does humidity which causes molds, insects and bacteria to grow and decreasing the amount of time that the grain can be stored before it goes out of condition. Regardless of the moisture in stored grain, aeration is needed to control moisture migration.

Further Reading

Wisconsin Corn Agronomy - Grain Harvesting

Eckert, D.J., R.B. Hunter, and H.M. Keener. 1987. Hybrid maturity-energy relationships in corn drying. National Corn Handbook NCH-51.

Nichols, T.E. 1988. Economics of On-Farm Corn Drying. National Corn Handbook NCH-21.

Literature Cited

Cavalieri, A.J., and O.S. Smith. 1985. Grain Filling and Field Drying of a Set of Maize Hybrids Released From 1930 to 1982. Crop Sci. 25:856-860.

Crane, P.L., S.R. Miles, and J.E. Newman. 1959. Factors Associated with Varietal Differences in Rate of Field Drying in Corn. Agron. J. 51:318-320.

Hallauer, A.R., and W.A. Russell. 1961. Effects of selected weather facttors on grain moisture reduction from silking to physilogic maturity in corn. Agronomy Journal 53.

Purdy, J.L., and P.L. Crane. 1967. Influence of pericarp on differential drying rate in "mature" corn (Zea mays L.). Crop Science 7:379-381.

Troyer, A.F., and W.B. Ambrose. 1971. Plant Characteristics Affecting Field Drying Rate of Ear Corn. Crop Sci 11:529-531.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Down Corn

The August and September USDA-NASS yield estimates indicate that Wisconsin corn farmers are on-track to produce a record yielding corn crop. We are starting to see lodging issues at Arlington as silage harvest begins. Some lodging is due to an earlier wind event occurring around V10 to V12 that flattened plants and caused them to 'snake' back up. However, high yields in and of themselves can cause lodging issues.

For a corn plant to remain healthy and free of stalk rot, the plant must produce enough carbohydrates by photosynthesis to keep root cells and pith cells in the stalk alive and enough to meet demands for grain fill. When corn is subjected to stress during grainfill, photosynthetic activity is reduced. As a result, the carbohydrate levels available for the developing ear are insufficient. The corn plant responds to this situation by removing carbohydrates from the leaves, stalk, and roots to the developing ear. While this "cannibalization" process ensures a supply of carbohydrates for the developing ear, the removal of carbohydrates results in premature death of pith cells in the stalk and root tissues, which predisposes plants to root and stalk infection by fungi. As plants near maturity, this removal of nutrients from the stalk to the developing grain results in a rapid deterioration of the lower portion of corn plants in drought stressed fields with lower leaves appearing to be nitrogen stressed, brown, and/or dead.

Other plant stresses which increase the likelihood of stalk rot problems include: loss of leaf tissue due to foliar diseases (such as gray leaf spot or northern corn leaf blight), insects, or hail; injury to the root system by insects or chemicals; high levels of nitrogen in relation to potassium; compacted or saturated soils restricting root growth; and high plant populations.

For some ideas on how to handle down corn, click here.

Further Reading

Carter, P.R. 2015. Wind Lodging Effects on Corn Growth and Grain Yield. Pioneer Insights, click here.

Carter, P.R., and K.D. Hudelson. 1988. Influence of simulated wind lodging on corn growth and grain yield. J. Prod. Agric. 1:295-299.

Nielsen, B., and D. Colville. 1988. Stalk Lodging in Corn: Guidelines for Preventive Management. Agronomy Guide, AY-262 Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Monday, September 14, 2015

High Moisture Corn and By-Products

As we move into the 2015 harvest season, many growers harvest high moisture corn for feed. The following is a summary of a publication on High Moisture Grain and Grain By-Products,

High moisture corn is, as the name implies, corn harvested before the kernels dry down, usually processed by a roller mill or hammer mill, packed into an appropriate structure and allowed to ferment. High moisture ear corn is similar to high moisture corn but it includes some portion of the cob. Snaplage includes the grain, cob, and shuck (husk leaves and shank).

Preservation of high moisture grains and grain by-products is a common practice for feeding livestock in most temperate regions of the world. High moisture storage of grain has been driven by the savings of not having to dry grain at  harvest. The moisture content of most high moisture grain is within the range of 20 to 35%, and the storage time required is usually no more than the time interval between harvests, or up to 12 months. For grain by-products, where the moisture content is much greater, the pressure for high moisture storage is also driven by cost savings. However, storage of by-products is usually for short periods of time only.

As with forages, the anaerobic fermentation during ensiling of these products is based primarily on lactic acid, but amounts produced are variable both between batches of ensiled high moisture grain and even during the storage of any given batch. Not surprisingly, ethanol is found in ensiled grain. Differences in pattern of acid and ethanol production in grain may be attributed to moisture content and form of the grain. Ensiled high moisture grains and grain by-products are prone to considerable aerobic deterioration with post-storage exposure to air. Of the potential additives to facilitate storage, propionic acid is the most successful, although it is used only when the material stands a risk of significant exposure to air during storage. Results from inoculation of high moisture grains and by-products with bacteria are inconclusive, but recent studies with bacteria producing propionic acid show promise. Recovery of dry matter and nutrients after ensiling grain and by-products is usually more than 90% and for grains is usually optimized by storing the grain in sealed structures and at a moisture content between 25 and 30%.

High moisture grains usually contain the same amount of available energy for pigs and ruminants as the corresponding dry grain. In a recent comprehensive review of feeding grains to beef cattle, it was found that high moisture corn and sorghum were not as efficiently utilized as the corresponding steam rolled dry grain. For lactating dairy cows, however, high moisture grain is used as efficiently, if not more efficiently, than the corresponding dry grain. High moisture storage of grains and by-products does not usually affect food intake.

For Further Reading:

Buchanan-Smith, J., T.K. Smith, and J.R. Morris. 2003. High Moisture Grain and Grain By-Products, p. 825-854, In D. R. Buxton, R. E. Muck and J. H. Harrison, eds. Silage Science and Technology. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science Society of America.

Hoffman, P.C., R.D. Shaver, and N.M. Esser. 2010. The Chemistry of High Moisture Corn. Proc. 2010 4-State Dairy Nutrition & Management Conf., Dubuque, IA.

Wisconsin Corn Agronomy - HMC, HMEC and Snaplage

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Tillage and Crop Rotation Effects on Corn Yield and Economic Return

Crop response to different tillage systems and crop rotations is highly influenced by soil conditions that include soil drainage class; soil texture; soil organic matter; water holding capacity; and weather variables, such as temperature, precipitation amount and distribution, and frost-free days. In a study conducted by Iowa State University, corn yield and economic return with different tillage systems and crop rotations were highly influenced by regional soil and climate conditions. The study was conducted at seven locations in Iowa from 2003 to 2013. The experiment involved five tillage systems (no-tillage, NT; strip-tillage, ST; chisel plow, CP; deep rip, DR; and moldboard plow, MP).Three crop rotations of corn–soybean, C–S; corn–corn–soybean, C–C–S; and corn–corn, C–C were evaluated. The objectives were to: (i) investigate seasonal variability in corn yield as affected by tillage and crop rotation, (ii) identify appropriate tillage for each crop rotation and location, and (iii) evaluate the magnitude of crop rotation effect on corn yield.

Corn yields varied from 40 to 252 bu/A with no detectable increase over time. The input cost for corn production was greater with conventional tillage systems over NT and ST by 7.5 and 5.7%, respectively. Yield and economic returns for the three rotations were as follow: C–S > C–C–S > C–C. Yield and economic penalty were greater with NT than conventional tillage in the northern locations (poorly-drained soils) than locations with well-drained soils. The corn yield penalty associated with C–C was location specific and varied from 11 to 28%. The findings suggest a location specific adoption of tillage and crop rotation for achieving optimum yield.

The corn yield response to different tillage systems within each crop rotation was similar with a
few exceptions. The adoption of NT or ST practices in combination with a C–S rotation has lower risk for yield and economic return losses as compared to C-C-S or C-C rotation.The results of this study suggest that at locations with well-drained soils, NT and ST can be competitive in terms of yield and economic return as compared to conventional tillage systems.

For the complete reference, see:
Al-Kaisi, M.M., S.V. Archontoulis, D. Kwaw-Mensah, and F. Miguez. 2015. Tillage and Crop Rotation Effects on Corn Agronomic Response and Economic Return at Seven Iowa Locations. Agronomy Journal 107:1411-1424.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Should I Do One More Thing For This Year's Crop?

Often growers ask the question, "What if I had done one more thing to this year's crop - would it have affected yield? In a study conducted by researchers at the University of Illinois during 2009 and 2010, five management factors were assessed for their individual and cumulative contributions to corn yield and yield components in a corn-soybean rotation. Five management factors involving plant population, transgenic insect resistance, fungicide containing strobilurin, P–S–Zn fertility, and N fertility were evaluated. A standard treatment was used that simulated commercial corn production. This standard treatment was compared to other treatments involving each additional input and a high technology treatment where all supplemental treatments were applied.

The high technology treatment yielded 46 bu/A (34 to 56 bu/A) more grain (28%) than the standard treatment, This demonstrates a yield gap between traditional commercial farm practices and the attainable yield using available technologies. All management factors except plant population were necessary for reducing the yield gap. Fungicide and transgenic insect resistance traits provided the greatest yield increases. Averaged over sites and years, if each factor was withheld from the high technology system, yield decreased by decreasing kernel number. Increased plant population reduced the yield gap when all other inputs were applied at the supplemental level. Kernel number was more significant for increasing yield than kernel weight. Thee yield contribution of each technology was greater when applied as part of a full complement of supplemental inputs than when added individually to the standard commercial system.

Although economics are not considered in this article (only yield response), the fact that a 28% yield gain could be obtained with available technology is intriguing. The other important conclusion by the authors is that the technologies are synergistic - all must be used to realize this gain. Yet, the experimental design (omission plots) is NOT able to identify specific interactions between a subset of the management factors. So this conclusion needs further study. It may be that two or three of the factors provide the major yield increase.

For the complete reference see:
Ruffo, M.L., L.F. Gentry, A.S. Henninger, J.R. Seebauer, and F.E. Below. 2015. Evaluating Management Factor Contributions to Reduce Corn Yield Gaps. Agron. J. 107:495-505.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

How Much Yield Loss Occurs with Corn Hybrids Sold as "Organic"?

Farmers growing corn for the organic market often get a premium and rightly so. Organic farmers are required to go through a certification process that requires a fee and extra effort and time for paperwork. They have more expenses due to increased pest control, especially weeds. Organic farmers have also expressed some concern about the genetic yield potential of the commercial hybrids used in organic corn production. Since 2004, the UW Corn Hybrid Evaluation program has been testing corn hybrids sold for the organic market. A total of 55 organic hybrid trials have been conducted at 10 locations in Wisconsin (see Organic hybrids yielded 7% (14 bu/A) less than the conventional hybrids when grown together. Comparing separate organic and public trials, the hybrids in the organic trials yielded 12% (24 bu/A) less than hybrids in the public trials. In both analyses, organic hybrids yielded less than modern hybrids. In the organic trials, the conventional check hybrid was consistently the top performing hybrid in the trial. However, the commercial organic hybrids were not far behind. In these trials, all interactions are minimized to the best of our ability, so the trials represent potential genetic differences. As plant stresses increase in organic systems due to management constraints for certification and pest pressure versus the relative ease of controlling some of those same pests in conventional systems, the relative differences between modern organic and conventional systems would also likely increase.

For further reading of the entire article, see

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Do We Grow Another Bushel or Save a Buck?

The obvious answer is, "Yes!" Most of us try to do both. However, the predictions for the 2015 cropping season are for lower corn prices. Farmers wonder whether they should continue trying to increase production on their farms or should they cut costs and try to save a buck by not going after the most expensive yield. This article reviews some of the important decisions that growers need to make as plans are made for lower corn prices in 2015.

As farmers consider the impact of the most yield limiting factors, it isn't always about inputs and cutting costs. The most important management decision is hybrid selection. The choice of hybrid increasingly dictates management decisions farmers make during a growing season. After the hybrid is selected the main management objective is to reduce stress on corn plants during the growing season.

In many ways we are "back to the future." Corn prices are not as bad as the 1990s and early 2000s, but they are projected to decrease nearly 50% from recent prices. Frugal innovation may be required. When corn prices are low farmers must: 1) know their cost of production for corn, 2) concentrate on the basics, 3) realize that timing of operations is everything, and 4) question every input in their production practices. An increased reliance on scouting for in-season decisions and corrections will increase efficiencies during years of low corn prices.

To read the full article, see