Blogging by the Bushel
With numerous challenges over the past several years for producers, we at Mercer Landmark understand the need for a comprehensive risk management solution. We seek to provide our customers with unparalleled service to ensure maximum results.

By: Kelsey Berger – Mercer Landmark agronomist

Harvest is quickly approaching and some guys have even been able to get run some acres. Timely drydown in corn is key to a timely harvest. Many people take quickness of drydown into consideration when they choose a hybrid. Grain moisture content is used to assign a relative maturity based on moisture content at harvest. Two hybrids that differ by one “day” of relative maturity will typically vary by about one half percentage point of grain moisture content if planted and harvested on the same days. Also, relative maturities are comparable only within seed companies not among seed companies.

Drydown characteristics come into play when weather conditions are not favorable to dry down (cool, wet, heavy dews, etc.). Most moisture loss is actually lost through the kernel itself.

Well have you ever thought what traits of a corn hybrid actually contribute to quick drydown?

Kernel Pericarp Characteristics. The pericarp is the outermost layer of a corn kernel (botanically; the ovary wall). Thinner or simply more permeable pericarp layers have been associated with faster drying rates in the field.

Husk Leaf Number. The fewer the number of husk leaves, the more rapid the grain moisture loss. In fact, modern hybrids have fewer husk leaves than those commonly grown years ago.

Husk Leaf Thickness. The thinner the husk leaves, the more rapid the grain moisture loss.

Husk Leaf Senescence. The sooner the husk leaves senesce (die), the more rapid the grain moisture loss.

Husk Coverage of the Ear. The less the husk covers the tip of the ear, the more rapid the grain moisture loss.

Husk Tightness. The looser the husk covers the ear, the more rapid the grain moisture loss.

Ear Declination. The sooner the ears drop from an upright position after grain maturation to a downward position, the more rapid the grain moisture loss. In particular, husks of upright ears can “capture” rainfall.

*(Sept 13 Pest & Crop Newsletter)

Your local Mercer Landmark branch can help you with choosing a hybrid with timely drydown or any other factor that is important to you. Contact them today to talk more about seed corn and beans available through Mercer Landmark. Early season discounts are still available!

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