The cold spell last week meant an end to the 2011 growing season for some producers in the upper Midwest. And those handling this corn over the next few weeks need to pay close attention to the crop and the combine settings.
“Immature and frost-damaged corn will have marginal quality, so it’s important to manage equipment carefully to minimize further quality degradation,” writes Joe Lauer, Extension corn specialist at the University of Wisconsin. “Set combines carefully, to balance the need to get small kernels with kernel damage. Manage the fines and chaff, which can increase mold problems in storage.”
Every producer knows the headaches that grain in poor condition can cause. And for some, this year’s abrupt end to a less-than-stellar growing season will mean some additional time harvesting the crop.
Of course, variable growing conditions and grain quality issues likely won’t be limited to pockets of the Midwest, which means the extra time ensuring the combine is set correctly will be even more critical this harvest.
Some additional checklist items are available here:
What have been some of your more challenging harvests?