Overcome Lodged and Down Corn Harvest Challenges

Lodging and down corn can be tricky to harvest. ( Sonja Begemann )

Down corn hurts, but it hurts more if you’re not mindful at harvest. Avoid losing kernels as much as possible with these steps.

  1. Slow the combine travel speed. The faster you go the less likely you are picking up stalks and getting the grain through the combine, slow down to save more.
  2. Harvest against the grain. This may mean you only harvest one way and carry a dead head across the field, but if you can save yield it can be worth the time, effort and fuel.
  3. Get corn head snout tips under stalks. Position your corn head as low as possible or adjust the angle to get under stalks.
  4. If you frequently deal with down corn or have larger areas with problems, you might consider buying a tool or add on to help. Consider corn reels, rotating cones or a crop divider to help save grain from falling to the ground and increase efficiency.

Harvest brings challenges each year. If you face a situation with down corn use these tips to try to save as many precious kernels as you can.

Here are a few more harvest stories or grain quality stories:

Keep Your Eyes Open for Stalk Rots

Grain Quality Concerns in Frost-Damaged Corn

What Can Your Ears Tell You About Harvest, Storage and 2021?

Set Yield Expectations After Frost and Freeze Events

Threats Still Stealing Precious Bushels in Midwest

Rude Awakening for Crops, Livestock as Plains See Temperature Swing

Will September Bring the Heat, Moisture Needed for Strong Crop Finish?

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