A friend and I were talking about these stalks with a cob but no kernals on them. One fellow posted a picture of a bunch of them on NewAgTalk this week. We wonder what failed, the pollen, the silk or both?
Farmers are trying to identify what possibly worked this year and what failed miserably. I have seen farm after farm with 20 bushel corn here and near 200 right next to it. It is not just soil type but often linked to hybrid.
We know that some hybrids require a lot of heat to make corn, AgriGold 6533 is one popular one. That hybrid has been at the top the last five years and looks to be again this year. The male inbred in it requires a lot of heat to make corn. We had way too much heat across the US this summer to the point many fields have no ears or no kernals on the cob.
Other hybrids do better in cooler years and it was of course, way too hot for those hybrids. We can see why they failed. But what caused the blank cobs? Not enough or no live pollen or no live ovules or both? On the hybrids I know, which are the only ones I really work with, they pollinated, even in extreme heat in most cases. If you didn't have rain and then had a week or more of 100 degrees then it is more understandable why a hybrid failed.
I think farmers are going to be surprised when they run the combine. They are going to see what worked and what didn't. The biggest surprise is going to be less corn out there then the experts expect. It isn't out there. There are failures here where we have had rain and only 5 days above 100.
It's going to be an interesting harvest for sure. Some areas say 75% will get combined and 25% won't. It will all be harvested here but huge chunks of the I states are disking up or chopping corn stalks because they have been zeroed out by insurance and the farmer wants to move on.
It was great to meet a long time reader today on his new farm. He hit it good like me and has a beautiful stand of soybeans, one of the best I have seen. He needs more rain but we all do. I haven't heard of anyplace with too much rain.
The sick corn and failed corn has me puzzled though. I have a lot of answers but not all the ones I am looking for.