Corn School: Counting Cobs While Singing a Country Tune

Growers in the east and west can both attest to the truth in Luke Bryan’s lyrics about rain and corn this year, but for different reasons.

While drought-stressed corn plants in parts of Ontario have failed to produce cobs, the crop has benefited from plenty of moisture on the prairies.

“I’ve always jokingly said — and this year I’m feeling a little sorry for having said — if you want to have a good corn and soybean yield, you might have to put up with number two wheat. This year we’re certainly getting the August rains that are conducive to an excellent corn and soybean yield,” says Dieter Schwarz, market development manager for corn and soybeans with Canterra Seeds.

In this instalment of the Corn School, we go through the steps for estimating yield potential, which all begins with understanding planter performance and plant population. From there, Schwarz explains the simple math, accounting for kernels per cob and kernels per bushel.

“It gives you a really quick and easy way to see what’s out there and once again, more importantly, it gets you another time to get out in the field and check your stand, in terms of setting up for next year,” he says.

It’s also an opportunity to assess late season plant health, as there are increasing reports of Goss’s Wilt showing up in Manitoba corn fields, notes Schwarz.

Watch more Corn School episodes here!