Team FIN product tester and farmer Kent Lock from Avon, IL, sent us this report on his corn crop August 23, 2011.
For the last three weeks, I have been hearing and thinking that the 2011 corn crop may not be as high yielding as we had hoped.
Today I went looking for my very best field of corn and decided to take a close look at five adjacent ears. This field has a history of high-yielding corn. The first and only five ears that I evaluated showed four ears that would be congruent with a 200 bu./acre yield and one ear that I would expect to see in a field yielding 125 bu./acre. A little weighted average math would estimate this field to yield 185 bu./acre. The yield from this field is 15 bu./acre or 8% lower than I would have guessed based on visual appearance.
Agronomists and seedsmen have been taking kernel dimensional measurements. It sounds like the sudden onslaught of heat units in July have shortened and fattened shape of the kernels. The change in shape has decreased kernel weight by a gram or two. The change is not an indicator of light-test-weight corn — just fewer total pounds of grain produced.
My corn crop looks high yielding, but probably will not be the 200 bu.+ crop I had hoped for. The CBOT December corn contract in the $7.25/bu. area is probably justified. A common thing to hear farmers say the last couple of weeks is, "This corn crop is just not there."