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Not a record, but good crop there

Corn sample pulled from a local crop tour / photo provided by Tom Kahle.

CHENOA – While this year’s corn crop may not be a record, it is certainly a very good one.

Those observations were made by Tom Kahle, treasurer for the Prairie Central Cooperative Board of Directors who annually conducts a local crop tour throughout McLean and Livingston counties with retired board secretary Brian Schaumburg. This year, they received some help from board vice president Rodney Rhoda and area farmer Patrick Killian.

The group split up so two of them covered part of the area and the other two observed the other part. All came up with an average yield of 226 to 227 bushels per acre. This is done through kernel counts where they count the number of ears and rows and measure the length and population.

“We start off with an assumed kernel population of 90,000 kernels per bushel,” explained Kahle. “That area north of Hudson where it has been drier probably had the smallest ear sizes and slightly less average yield calculated.”

Slightly higher yields were discovered in areas east of Chenoa and north to Ocoya and Graymont where they had more rain. They covered an area stretching from Hudson, Money Creek and Lexington townships to Yates and Chenoa townships in McLean County then into the Livingston County townships of Eppards Point and Nebraska. A field in Woodford County north of El Paso was also included.

Despite the fact that we have been a bit short on moisture this year, corn and soybeans are really healthy.

“Crop health was as good this year as I’ve ever seen it,” Kahle admitted.

They observed very few nutrient deficiencies and little disease pressure. Every field they looked at was sprayed with fungicide and many were even sprayed twice.

“Those fields that were sprayed twice are lush.”

As of last week, Kahle did not observe any tar spot in corn, although last year it developed at this point in the year and the disease spread rapidly, taking five to 10 percent off of the yields. Based on 90,000 kernels per bushel, the local yield estimate is eight percent less than last year.

Kahle is hopeful the ideal weather for grain fill continues, as we have experienced warm days under 85 degrees with cooler nights below 65.

“We are hoping we can get a larger kernel size, maybe 85,000 kernels per bushel, and that would bump yield up probably six or seven percent above what we saw,” said Kahle.

Time will tell on the corn and another shower would be nice. While many are concerned over ear tip back, the local tour only revealed one field that showed anything significant.

Kahle believes the soybeans look just as healthy as the corn, although they never try to estimate soybean yields since it is very difficult.

“If we could have adequate rainfall to fill that bean crop out, I do think the bean crop could be very, very good.”


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