Update from Dr. Ignacio Ciampitti on the Recent Corn Tour

(Dr. Ignacio Ciampitti) My name is Dr. Ignacio Ciampitti. I’m a Crop Production Cropping Systems Specialist at K-State. So we just finished the tour here in Salina. We organize these tours every year. The idea is to go ahead and take a look to different fields around the Central Kansas area with the main goal of trying to look at the corn conditions, looking at forecasting corn yields. So the tour is in collaboration this year with Great Plains . They have a plot that was twin row versus single row. And we have as speakers Jeff Whitworth; and we have Stew Duncan, our Northeast Agronomist; Tom Maxwell our station agent and myself Dr. Ciampitti. I am the Cropping System Crop Production Specialist here at K-State. Just to give you a brief overview about the tour, we went through three different stops. The first one we took a look at corn, about single versus twin row. We tried to take a look at different planting technology and also we took a look at different densities. So, one of the main things that we were evaluating with farmers is density and trying to find optimal density by farm. So what we found based on the weather conditions this year we are looking at early planted corn is doing much better, I mean corn is moving into the reproductive stages and at this point it is really getting close to the milky stage and close to the end of the season, in probably three weeks more from today from the end of July. And when you’re looking at corn conditions, canopies were very healthy, plant densities, I mean usually between 24, 26,000 were the ones that we were looking at when we were looking about 120 – 140 bushels. Looking at more 150 plus bushels, to 180. We were looking at populations that were close to 28,000. So in terms of plant technology there are many things that are coming from different companies and I am always encouraging corn farmers to take a look to uniformity in corn and how important uniformity is for corn yields. Our second stop was with Justin Knopf. He is one of our main collaborators in the plot tours and basically we revised all the information that we collected in that field for the last two years. And we took a look at some of the precision ag tools. We are, part of my group at this point is working very heavily on uses of drones and remote sensing and trying to integrate all the technology. We always like to talk about big data but I mean the question that the farmers will have, yes I understand the point of the big data but how do you use data? And how do we start integrating data so farmers can start making decisions on the field? So from the use of yield monitors, satellite images, drone information and then using all that information combined to start developing what we call zones, management zones. Management zones are zones that the farmer can farm that they are more specific and he can increase productivity in high input levels and he can decrease input use in a low productivity zones. And our last stop was with Mark Pettijohn. He’s also our long-term type of farmer collaborator. We took a look at different seeding rates in corn. Corn was again looking very good in this area. Some of the corn was milky stage, early dent when you are looking about that advanced corn when the corn is getting to early dent stages any impact of diseases, insects or any kind of a stress will be really small in terms of our yield reductions. Ah, so we are getting to the point that, I mean, yields are not being much impacted and their kernel number is already set. And the main things that we might see from some small changes from now on until harvest will be more on the kernel size. So this is just a very nice and brief summary of our corn plot tour. We are looking at the state level. In most of areas of the state, we already past pollination except for some areas in the western part of the state but southeast and in that area we are really getting close to harvest in a couple of weeks. Ah, northeast is a little bit behind but still on the milky stage and similarly but a little bit more behind, close to the flowering, ah, blister stage is in our central area of Kansas. Most of the corn is looking above average or near average conditions so we hope to get good corn yields if the weather is coming, ah, and is coming in the next weeks if we have good temperatures not really much high temperature as we see in the first weeks of June and some precipitation. So if we had that type of weather conditions that they are really optimal for grain filling, ah, we will be seeing really good yields by the end of the season.

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