With the spring planting and growing season we had across much of the Midwest, there’s a bigger chance this year for more variability out in the field. That’s why Wyffels Hybrids recommends getting a good assessment of the stage and health of the crop leading up to harvest.
“We want to make sure we really capitalize on the yield potential that’s out there in the field and don’t let any of that go away to harvest loss,” said Mitch Heisler, Marketing Manager at Wyffels Hybrids. “You don’t want to run into a case where you have stalk lodging and stalk rot and things like that, that might lead to harvest loss if you let that sit in the field for too long.”
How long is too long? Heisler said while there is often tendency to let that field dry, many times growers can increase their bushels per acre and profitability by getting out there a little earlier and making sure they get all their bushels in.
“Since there is some variability especially with replant, you might have part of the field that was planted a little bit later than others,” Heisler said. “You might have to consider harvesting part of that field at a higher moisture level than normal, so you don’t let the earlier planted part of that field or if there are more variabilities get too dry and you start to see harvest loss from ear lodging and stalk lodging.”
Heisler said the best way to see if stalk rot is coming in is to evaluate the health of your crops. That can also help in building a harvest schedule of which fields you want to get to first.
“You can start to see now if the crop is starting to become deficient of some nutrients, it might start cannibalizing that stalk in order to fill kernels during grain fill. Those are fields where you might notice weaker stalks and more probability of stalk lodging,” Heisler said.
Heisler also recommends working with your seed representative about any explicit management recommendations to consider for specific hybrids.
“There are usually some that have a lot of yield potential and they are better off if you get those at the first half of harvest,” Heisler said. “So it’s great to work with your Wyffels seed representative and find out if there are products you need to move to the front of harvest.”