With harvest nearly complete across northern Indiana and southern Michigan, it’s safe to say many farmers enjoyed at least some yields that were better than expected, especially after a tricky month of June.
Jason Harmon, DEKALB Asgrow technical agronomist, says the crop was planted efficiently.
“Then we ran into June and June kind of surprised us all by shutting the faucet off and the vast majority of our region did not have any moisture throughout mostly all June into the first part of July,” Harmon said. “We pollinated decently with the crop that suffered for a while, but then we got into decent amount of rains throughout August into the 1st of September. And I’ll tell you the yields were above my expectations for what we had witnessed throughout the growing season and summer. So, I was very pleased with how we are finishing out.”
One element of the 2022 crop that stands out to Harmon is hybrid performance.
“When we talk about ear flex, it came down to kernel flex this year and those kernels really filled out nicely. That put weight across the scales when we were harvesting. So that’s where the yield really surprised me, how large our kernel depth is getting with the hybrids we have today in our arsenal.”
Harmon says this year was one where the corn crop was able to really capitalize on nitrogen put into the system.
“This corn when we’re into that grain fill used every unit that we had because we just didn’t have any movement from June because there was no rain,” said Harmon. “So, when it was adequate rains towards the end of July and August, when we were needing nitrogen the most, it was right there, right at that root zone and the corn took it in and that’s where the kernel depth really shined. Packing that kernel full of starch and having all the mobility we needed was a key factor in my mind to the kernel depth that we had and a lot of these great hybrids today.”
If soil compaction has been a problem even dating back to last season, tillage operations this fall will help.
“And many farmers are thinking back to the fall of ‘21 and those fields that they kind of had to push through to get that crop out. Let’s bring those back forward and utilize these nice weather conditions we have to do some tillage to kind of repair some of that real deep compaction that we witnessed from the 21 harvest.”
Pro-active use of fungicides was a big benefit this year, and he was very impressed with the XtendFlex AG33XF3 class. Harmon explains in the full interview: