NY Corn Dry Down Observations – 9/3/2020

Contributed by Joe Lawrence – Dairy Forage Systems Specialist with Cornell CALS PRO-DAIRY

I have been talking about how this season is reminiscent of 2018 for many areas of the state. Visually, we saw a very green healthy crop, but ears dried down fast and caught people off guard.  And, the same scenario seems to be in play this year given a number of reports I have seen as well as what’s been observed at some of our research plots.

I have also taken note of how some fields which received some drought ending rain after tasseling reminded me more of 2016 when we saw slower than normal dry down because the crop seemed to try to make up for lost ground during ear fill.

After a visit to our plot in Madrid, NY, the plot appears to look pretty good despite very low rainfall this year, which is acceptable given the circumstances. Of course, it’s not going to set any yield records but is decent corn with a good ear.

Today, the plot will hit 800 GDD’s since tasseling.  Based on previous research from Bill Cox, that would suggest it should be getting close to 32% DM. We know there is some variability in this number, but it has been pretty close with some of our other locations this year.

I took 2 samples when I visited Madrid  to check whole plant DM.

    • 97 day – 28% DM
    • 100 day – 25% DM

These numbers fall well below where we would expect given the tasseling date and GDD accumulation.  And as such, this location certainly seems to be lining up with what we observed in 2016.

For more on this topic, check out the 1st Episode, Corn Silage 2020 Season Recap, of the Cornell PRO-DAIRY Corn Silage Harvest Considerations Podcast Series.


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