Farmers around the U. S. Midwest were trying to decide if they should begin harvesting corn that will need to be dried manually after it is cut, agronomists and grain dealers say.
Most growers had hoped to let their corn dry naturally but leaving crops in the field late into the fall is risky. Farmers who wait for corn to dry naturally face the possibility of having to pick crops that fall over in the fields, which can be a more expensive process than drying.
“You have to balance that (the drying costs) with the stalk quality and how likely those plants are going to go down on you,” said Roger Elmore, extension corn specialist at Iowa State University. “This kind of weather and this kind of fall is really not conducive for very rapid dry down.”
Some farmers who have been able to harvest corn that was planted early in the season were finding yields of more than 250 bushels per acre, said Emerson Nafziger, extension agronomist at the University of Illinois.