Between the Rows
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ESTIMATING YIELDS OF STORM DAMAGED CORN
July 29, 2011ISSUE:
Many Midwest corn felds have been impacted by severeweather conditions this growing season. Early seasonwet and cool conditions reduced population levels anddelayed parts o felds that had standing water. Later stormsimpacted felds with rain and heavy winds that caused rootlodging and green snap to occur. Hail is generally a yearlyoccurrence in many parts o our corn growing area and cancause minor to devastating impact on corn perormance,depending on timing and severity o the hail storm. Heatand drought in some areas also cause growers to haveperormance concerns. All o these weather actors canimpact plant population and fnal yield.
During August, many growers routinely evaluate feldsand make yield estimates either or corn storage needs oror marketing purposes. Also, felds with reduced standsor severe root lodging cause growers concern aboutperormance which can create interest in estimating yields.Most inormation on corn perormance indicates corn hasgreat ability to compensate or lower plant populations.Generally the optimum plant population is not one number,but a range o populations where optimum perormancecan be expected. When growing conditions induce standreductions, there is also yield reduction that can result. Thisyield reduction is not directly proportional to the standreduction. Remaining plants each can increase the numbero kernels per plant and partially compensate or missingplants. The crop insurance industry routinely estimates the yieldloss in hail damaged felds based on stand counts and stageo growth that damaged occurred. This estimate is basedon the US appraisal method as outlined in the USDA CornLoss Adjustment Standard Handbook. Yield reductions romstand loss are well documented, but the insurance industryassumes when damage occurs ater V8, the remaining plantscannot compensate or lost plants.Recent research reported in Crop Science Journal, whichwas unded by the National Crop Insurance Serviceand conducted cooperatively by IL, IA, and OH, hasdemonstrated that corn can still compensate or standreductions through the V15 stage o growth. Their researchwas designed to evaluate the impact stand reductions hadon perormance at various stages o growth and to includeuniorm plant loss (uniorm plant spacing) compared touneven plant loss (random spacing). Their conclusions showseveral important actors that impact how we may estimatehybrid perormance.1. Yield reduction rom stand loss appears not to beaected by uniorm stand loss compared to unevenstand loss.2. Stand reduction at earlier stages o growth has a smallerimpact on yield compared to stand reductions at laterstages o growth. The earlier the damage occurs, thegreater the recovery can be.3. Data rom stand reductions at V11 and V15 showed yieldcompensation still occurred in the orm o per plantyield increases in the remaining plants in response toa reduction in competition (increased kernel number/plant).4. When the current U.S. appraisal method was comparedto the study data, it was demonstrated that the U.S.evaluation method underestimated yields by 1-9% at theearlier stages o growth (V5 and V8). But the U.S. estimateor yield also underestimated yield at the later stages o damage (V11 and V15) by 10-24%.5.
This study does not account for other types of damage thatoccurs with hail like shredded leaves (defoliation), bruisedstalks, stalk breakage, damaged ears, or damaged whorlsthat may make regrowth or recovery dicult (leaf wrap).
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