Corn harvest 2010: Views from the field

  • Getting rolling

    Harvest was just getting rolling last week in north-central Iowa, when rainfall "blessed" farmers there with a break, says Bancroft, Iowa, CCA Bryan Arndorfer with Precision Management Solutions.

  • Drainage & yields

    Yields are 20%-30% below average on Doug Martin's farm near Mt. Pulaski, Illinois, farm. "If it has no drainage, it has been yielding 120-150. If it has some roll to it, yields are better," he says.

  • Drying quickly

    Despite half inch of rain earlier this week, Martin says the corn crop's dried quickly to 14%-18% moisture. "It is almost too fast since it is only early September," he says.

  • Best & worst

    Luke Smith of Rochester, Indiana, is seeing yields behind what he was hoping for, between 180 and 190 bushels/acre. "The best varieties last year are the worst this year," says Smith.

  • Early harvest & quality

    Fifty-six percent of the state's corn is in good-excellent shape. "We didn't have as much [ear rot] this year," says Purdue Extension corn specialist Bob Nielsen. "That, combined with early harvest, contributes to higher quality."

  • 'Went so fast'

    Some farmers have already wrapped up corn. "It still seems like we should be starting," says Macon, Illinois, farmer Paul Butler. So far, his soybeans look better. "Undoubtedly the best we have ever had," he says.

  • Better than expected

  • Good & dry

  • Tillage vs. no-till

  • 180-bushel average

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