Indiana corn harvest progressing at rapid pace

September 21, 2010

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - This year's corn harvest is off to an earlier start than normal and progressing quickly, according to a Purdue University Extension corn specialist.

Bob Nielsen, professor of agronomy, said the crop has grown quickly and matured early. It has dried well in the field, which means farmers should spend less on mechanized drying methods to bring grain down to desired moisture levels. Most of the crop could be harvested by early October if Indiana continues to have dry weather.

Nielsen said grain quality is higher than last year in part because of fewer disease problems.

"We had a high amount of ear rot last year, causing problems with storage," Nielsen said. "We didn't have as much this year. That, combined with early harvest, contributes to higher quality."

A Monday (Sept. 20) crop report by the Indiana Agricultural Statistics Service showed that last year, no corn had been harvested by Sept. 19. The 27 percent of corn harvested as of Sept. 19 this year was well above the five-year average of 6 percent.

The report also showed that 88 percent of corn was mature, compared with last year's 13 percent and the five-year average of 44 percent.

The statistics service rated crop condition at 12 percent excellent, 44 percent good, 27 percent fair, 12 percent poor and 5 percent very poor. The 56 percent good to excellent crop rating compares with 62 percent good to excellent on Sept. 19 last year. Moisture content of this year's harvested corn is averaging 17 percent.

Nielsen said test weights for corn in his own research trials were about 55 pounds per bushel. Test weight determines how much farmers receive per bushel for their corn. Corn is marketed on a 56-pound standard bushel.
Writer: Elise Brown, 765-494-8402,

Source: Bob Nielsen, 765-494-4802,

Related website:
King Corn: The Corn Growers' Guidebook (from Purdue Department of Agronomy)

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Keith Robinson,
Agriculture News Page