Updates From the Field

If you have corn in the ground, you may be wondering when it is going to come up! In Trumansburg, NY we have only accumulated 60 GDUs from April 10 to April 27. Corn typically takes 100 to 120 growing degree units to emerge and depending on the weather, timing for emergence can range from 4-5 days to 4 weeks! From Elmira to Geneva, and high elevation to low elevation, we are seeing very little difference in GDUs accumulated. And nowhere in our region are we seeing more than 100 GDUs yet. Some temperatures in the 60's are in the forecast, so hopefully we’ll see corn emerging next week with the increase in GDUs and warming soil.


All corn growth stages are dependent on GDUs, and using GDUs in connection with the corn hybrid, you can predict key growth stages to time herbicide and fungicide application and harvest dates. For more information about corn emergence, you can read The Emergence Process in Corn by R.L. (Bob) Neilsen from the Purdue Agronomy Department. And for more information on corn growth stages, check out Staging Corn Growth – Field Facts from Pioneer Agronomy Sciences.


Cumulative GDUs since planting are available in the Pioneer Seeds app. As soon as your planting data is in the database, you’ll start to have access to this information. Be sure to talk with us about how to get your machine data loaded, or if you don’t have machine data, we can show you how to use the Seeds app to input your planting data.



(Image courtesy of Pioneer)


Pioneer silage plot data is starting to come in. Unfortunately, our drought conditions here in Central New York have impacted silage yields. In other parts of the state, where moisture was adequate, yields are looking more typical. You can find Pioneer plot data on our website at https://www.ochsconsultingllc.com/trials. More data for corn grain and soybeans will be coming soon.


*Image courtesy of Pioneer


This season even within the same field we are finding radically different moistures. The greener corn in the image below is at 67% moisture and the drier plant is at 54%. Under our current drought stress conditions, there can easily be 10% differences in whole plant moisture within the same field. These variations can make staging the silage harvest even more complex than usual. Fields with a great deal of variation must be tested in multiple spots to get the full picture of the moisture status of the corn in that field.


Optimal moisture content for silage fermentation is 62-65%. While harvesting too wet or too dry are both problematic, starting the harvest early enough to avoid harvesting too dry is a good strategy. We are now able to generate reports through Pioneer/Corteva software tools that can predict the stage of growth of your corn and project likely harvest dates. If you are not already working with us to get your planting data into these tools, we’d be happy to work with you.


For more information on timing your corn silage harvest, check out this helpful article in Field Crop News out of Ontario, Canada.