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May 2, 2013

What Would it Take to Have a Corn Yield Above 160 bu/ac?

We already know that the corn is going to be planted later than normal, which will push the pollination later into the summer and require a late fall to allow enough time for the corn crop to mature. Therefore, I would estimate that there is maybe a 20% possibility that the corn yield could be 160 bu/ac or higher, but it would require a number of things to occur including:

  • No more significant delays during May in getting the majority of the corn planted in the central Corn Belt.
  • Flooding in eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota ending in early May allowing enough time to plant corn before the end of May.
  • A gradual warm up to near normal summer temperatures. A sudden warm up could turn "mud into bricks" which would impede crop establishment.
  • A cooler than normal summer with no prolonged periods of extreme heat especially during pollination and early grain filling.
  • Cool nighttime temperatures which would inhibit dark respiration. Dark respiration is the yield-robing condition that occurs when nighttime temperatures remain elevated.
  • A warm and dry early fall with a later than normal first frost.