Monday, December 24, 2012

Just In Time for Christmas

After numerous construction delays due to labour shortages, scheduling conflicts, budget cuts and personal injury this years ginger bread creation reached its final conclusion on the weekend.  Terrilyn and Melissa pulled it together just in time for Christmas.

It represents a bit if a mixed theme.  We see a log house, an appropriate amount of greenery, what is meant to be a Pioneer truck with logs in the back (what, no seed?) and some dude standing by the truck with a red H.  Is it Hayden or just red coveralls?  That is the beauty of art, open to interpretation.  Personally, I claim the chocolate trees.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Newletter Time

Our fall newsletter went in the old fashioned mailbag this week.  It has been asked whether the newsletter would be posted on this blog.  The answer is no.  Posting in cyber space creates a permanent record which anyone can trace.  It is hard to believe, but people from all corners of the world have looked at this blog.  I trust our customers to not misinterpret what is written in a newsletter, but I don't trust the rest of the world.  I don't want to expose Pioneer or myself to unnecessary scrutiny by someone with an axe to grind.

Meanwhile, harvest is still happening and plot results are coming in.  One thing I received after the newsletter went to print was the yield report of the soybean IMPACT plot at our farm.  The IMPACT plot is a replicated plot managed by Pioneer's IMPACT team.  There are experimental varieties included in the plot, but let's look at the results of varieties that are commercially available. 

The average of the plot was 52.7 bu.  The varieties above the average were 91Y81, DK28-60RY, DK29-60RY, 92Y12 and 92Y22.  92Y12 which topped the plot ran 59.6 bu.  Varieties below the average were DK27-10RY, DK27-60RY, 91Y01, 91M01, 91Y41 and 90Y90. 
There is one main point I wish to drive home.  The top five varieties averaged 57.3 bu.  The bottom 6 varieties averaged 48.9 bu.  The average maturity rating of the top 5 varieties is 2980 heat units.  The average maturity rating of the bottom 6 varieties is 2775 heat units. 
Increasing maturity by 200 heat units on average produced 8.4 bu more soybeans.  The plot was planted on May 10, harvested on September 27 and the highest moisture was 14.6%. 
In the newsletter I talk about producing 60 bushel beans.  One strategy to higher yields is planting full season varieties as early as possible.  This is a clear example of the effectiveness of this approach.  There is always a risk to planting full season genetics, but in my view the rewards justify the risk.   

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ask Hayden

A new feature being added to the blog is a segment we call "ask Hayden".  We know that Brian is a lot smarter than his dad, so it follows that Hayden will be even smarter still.  Therefore, we may as well go right to the best and brightest Barker for advice.

The first question is
Dear Hayden, "what do you think about fall fertilizer?"
Fertilizer is Expensive.

Dear Expensive Fertilizer,
"Fall is a great time to apply potash and phosphate.  It gets an important job done which allows everyone to focus on the job of planting next spring.
A 3 year rotation of corn, soybeans and wheat will remove 170 lbs of phosphorous and 170 lbs of potash per acre.  If you bale the wheat straw, the potash removal increases to 260 lbs of potash.  Three years of corn silage and haylage will remove 175 lbs of phosphorous and 550 lbs of potash.
These nutrients have to be replaced or soil productivity will decline.  It is a long slow decline and difficult to notice, but please pay attention to these nutrients." 

Editor's note - Hayden's generation should not have to pay for our mistakes. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Plot Wars

The annual battle of the plots between companies will soon be into high gear.  This year we are seeing variability across fields that leaves experienced farmers shaking their head.  Yield monitors are telling the less experienced the same thing.  Yields from one end of the field to the other can vary from 80 to 200 bu. This is an unprecedented spread, at least in this part of Ontario. 
The biggest contributor to this is the lack of available moisture deep in the soil profile.  One wise person made the comment that yield maps this year will be revealing more about the variability of our sub-soils than anything else.       
Against this backdrop, seed company reps including yours truly will be flogging a variety of plot results.  How much validity is in the data presented?  An experience I had recently illustrates how misleading one plot can be.
I was with a customer who split his 12 row planter between Pioneer P0474HR and Dekalb DKC 50-45. 
The first side-by-side produced the following result.

P0474HR   -  191 bu @ 21.7
DKC 50-45 -  172 bu @ 21.5

These numbers would leave the folks wearing Pioneer underwear breathless with ecstasy.  Those with Dekalb underwear would claim foul because it was weighed by a Pioneer guy and totally disregard the whole experience.

We moved over 8 rows and replicated the weigh off.

P0474HR   -   182 bu @ 21.9
DKC 50-45 -   182 bu @ 21.6

Significantly different numbers 20 ft apart in a field that appears to be perfectly uniform.  We stopped there because it was time to go get something to eat.

The Pioneer underwear types would say we won by an average of 9 bu.  Happy days are here again.  The Dekalb underwear types would say the only reason Pioneer looked a little better was because P0474HR is a later hybrid.  You can see that by the difference in moisture.  I would tell both types to take a seat in the "time out" chair.

Does either result have any significance?  Not really.  Statistic analysis of side by side data tells the truth.  A 12 bu/acre difference has only a 60% chance of predicting the best hybrid for next year if we rely on only one plot.  If we had 10 plots, a 12 bu advantage increases the probability to 90%.  The problem today is with so many hybrids to choose from, getting a large number of comparisons in a local area is very difficult. 

As far as individual plots in our neighbourhood having a lot of significance this year, I tend to think not.  
My take home message is stay wary of the "painted underwear" types. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Photo Finish

Our soybean planting date trial was harvested last week and the results are listed below.

92Y12 - May 11      55.8 bu/acre  @ 13.5%
92Y12 - May 26      53.8 bu/acre  @ 13.5%
91Y61 - May 11      56.0 bu/acre  @ 13.0%
91Y61 - May 26      54.0 bu/acre  @ 13.0%
Interesting how the yield difference was consistent with both varieties at 2 bushels apart.  In a sense I am not surprised that the results were close.  Looking back at my notes, the May 26 planting date was a full stage behind the May 11 date. (For a refresher, look at my "Down the Back Straight" post on August 10).  Rainfall pattern favoured the later planting date.  We went through late June and July on barely 1" of rain.  August was kinder with 2.5 ".  There were 12 days of over 30 degree highs in July and only 3 days in August which tended to favour yield development of the later planting date. The growing season was also long enough to allow full season varieties to reach maturity with time to spare.
Nonetheless, there was a definite response with the May 11 planting date which fits the longer term trend.
OMAFRA research into planting date response over 3 years shows a 4 bu/acre response for the same time period, May 10 to May 24. 
Pioneer has initiated a number of planting date trials this year.  I have been hearing of higher responses to earlier planting and will report the summary later. 
On a different topic we also evaluated response to applications of Acapela fungicide on soybeans applied at the R1 stage.  We had 5 locations of treated vs untreated and one location also had a strip of Headline as a comparison.  The yield environments ranged from 50 to 64 bushels, so our selection of sites were generally higher yielding locations in the area.
Four of the five had positive response and one location had no response.  The 4 positive responses accumulated a total of 8.4 bushels of extra beans for an average reponse over the 5 trials of 1.7 bu.  The Acapela vs Headline resulted in the same 1.5 bushel response to both fungicides over untreated. 
OMAFRA has studies which predict a 2 bu or 4% response to fungicide use which closely agrees with our results. 
Not exactly the stuff to excite a fungicide sales person, but if you have your own sprayer there is a positive economic return.  I tend to believe yield claims for fungicides, while usually overated, are still reflected in responses like ours.
Early planting dates and fungicides are tools in the toolbox useful for achieving maximum economic returns in soybeans.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Better Call Agricorp

Tony Koot contacted me earlier today.  His 90Y90 soybeans yielded 69.2 bu per acre.  One of the quickest ways to get Agricorp's attention is to produce a crop way above your guarantee. 
Nice job, Tony.

Friday, September 28, 2012

IMPACT Lessons

Yesterday the Pioneer IMPACT team showed up to combine their soybean plot behind our warehouse.

There is a huge effort put into the IMPACT program evaluating the next generation of soybean and corn genetics. 
Another example of this occurred last week.  Brian and I were with a large group of Pioneer agronomists, plant breeders and assorted technical specialists from Ontario, Michigan and Ohio looking at our corn IMPACT plot at Bill McIlhargey's.  This group is responsible for developing and evaluating corn genetics for the Great Lakes area.  They were on an evaluation tour of dozens of corn IMPACT sites across the province.  IMPACT plots typically have about 28 corn hybrids.  Half of these are new hybrids.  The rest is split between current Pioneer hybrids and competitive hybrids that a lot of you currently grow.  Each plot is 8 rows wide by 56 feet long and there are replicated check hybrids at each location.  The check hybrids are proven Pioneer hybrids currently sold.  The IMPACT plot is the last step in the selection process new hybrids are subjected to.  The new hybrid, or soybean variety, must do well in IMPACT testing before they make the team. 
IMPACT plot locations are carefully chosen and placed on a wide range of soil types from sand to loam to heavy clay.  The intent is to expose hybrids to typical field conditions that occur across Ontario.  The main criteria of each site is uniformity of soil type, drainage and slope.  Those of you that know the front of Bill's farm understand why this location meets the standard.  It would be considered a high yield site with well drained silt loam soil. 
The only problem is when you receive one inch of rain from July through August a site with high yield potential can become somewhat less than high yield.  And pose a challenging question to the evaluation team.
These two pictures are of a Pioneer hybrid currently on the market.  (Please don't panic and start calling because Brian and I do not sell a lot of this hybrid.)  My point is not to prove that we are incredibly smart in not promoting it.  This hybrid is used as a check hybrid and has some important characteristics for growers.
This picture is the same hybrid about 100 feet east from where I took the first two pictures.  Looks fantastic.  Now, put yourself in the agronomist position.  What have you learned?  Is this hybrid a total piece of trash?  Customers like the hybrid and continue to purchase it.  But the first two pictures would sure make you stop and think.  Nobody wants to expose customers to that kind of response to drought.  Or has the extreme lack of rainfall caused a 1 out of a 100 type response.  We are dealing with genetics and there is no sure thing.  And what about the new hybrids and the responses we witness at this location?  Are we seeing the worst or the best of the new hybrid? 
The correct answer is, while the mental pictures will stay in our head, the yield data generated from this one location is probably useless.  There is too much variability to generate meaningful comparisons. 
This makes us ponder the strip plot comparisons we have planted in our own fields.  Will this information be useful?  Or do we have the same problem as this IMPACT site? 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

John Deere Beans

Drought stress causes responses in soybeans that are quite striking.  With all due respect to a certain much revered farm equipment manufacturer, the colour green in soybeans at harvest time is not a good thing. 
Soybean harvest is underway and we are hearing about green stems, leaves and what some folks are calling secondary growth or re-growth.  A corn plant tends to die when subjected to drought stress during the growing season, but a soybean plant does the opposite.  There is a genetic component to the symptom because certain varieties will hang onto the green colour more than others, but the condition is always worse in the drought effected pockets in the field.  The heat and drought stress caused the soybean plant to abort flower production and set fewer pods. The reason the plant stays green is because there are not enough beans hanging on the plant to drain the carbohydrate reserves from the stems and leaves.  The draw of the beans on these reserves is part of the maturation process which cause the plant to die.  With fewer beans to feed, the plant's death spiral takes longer than it should.  If there are green leaves still hanging on it indicates the plant could have fed a lot more beans.  It is not a re-growth symptom like we sometimes see in edible beans.  The soybean plant will not take a late season growth spurt and try to make more beans because its day length mechanism is telling it to shut down. 

And remember those potash deficient soybeans that I had shown in a previous post.
This is what they look like now.
A lot of green stems and leaves because the problem is the same.  Poor pod set and few beans.  Any stress that interferes with pod set can create more "John Deere beans".
Green seed can also be a problem in the stressed areas, especially for IP soybean contracts.  The green seed will be very slow to dry, but if you have a bin and can store them for a few months the green beans will dry down.  It just takes time.
And speaking of time, with harvest occurring earlier this year there is a perfect opportunity to spray soybean stubble ahead of or just after wheat planting.  Even my buddy Peter Johnson will agree that the perfect time for weed control in your wheat crop is at planting time.  Spring herbicide application is too often just revenge spraying.  The damage usually has been done before we realize weeds are present or it rains too much, keeping the sprayer out of the field.  A fall spray of your favourite glyphosate product will almost guarantee you don't have to spray in the spring. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Hayden's New Defence Partner

I have been remiss in not highlighting the newest member of the Barker family.  On August 29 around 10:00 pm Brian called to let us know that Hayden had a new baby brother, Liam. 
April, delivered Liam at home with the assistance of a mid-wife and all went very well.  Liam arrived in the world weighing 7lb 2 oz.  We are very proud of our our daughter in law and her decision to do it the "old fashioned way". 
Grandma Barker now has two perfect little boys to brag about.  She embraces this task with enthusiasm because she has never been able to brag about the two less than perfect older Barker boys.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Another Tool For Silage Producers

Corn silage harvest is at full throttle.  Usually there is a lot more discussion on whether the corn crop is ready to ensile.  Given that all fields appear to be rapidly drying in the heat, the issue this year is the availability of harvesters and manpower.  There is a lack of both on some days.

Pioneer has been working on a computer model to predict silage maturity.  It is based on hybrid selection, planting date, soil type and localized weather data that when compiled together will give the silage producer another tool to help manage corn silage harvest.  It will be provided as a service to growers who plant Pioneer corn silage.

This year a number of growers have been enrolled in a pilot program to field test the validity of the software.  Maybe not the ideal year for a pilot program like this, but the system has been in development for a few years and every year is a learning experience.

When enrolled you get access to a website that will predict the DM and daily growing degree accumulation.

This is what the display looks like.  It will give you to judge how quickly your silage is advancing to the proper DM content for your operation. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Not So Common

Brian brought home this specimen one day last week.  It was supposed to be an ear of corn.
The ear is totally infested by common smut.  Common smut is a fungal disease that attacks plants in the grass family and flourishes under a variety of conditions.  The disease overwinters in the soil and on plant trash.  The overwintering stage is known as a teliospore and can survive for several years, so there is always a ready supply of inoculum.  It will infect a plant through wounds or holes in the plant's physical structure.  In this case the smut attacked the plant through the silk channels, which provide openings into the plant.  Normally, pollen grains germinate and grow down the silk channel.  Droughts often delay pollen production and the silks will remain viable for several days.  In this case the fungus grew down the silk channel first and blocked out the pollen.  The fungus is NOT toxic to livestock.  In fact the early growth stages of the fungus are edible.
The reason this field is affected is due to timing of fungal spore production and drought stress.  The ability of a hybrid to withstand drought stress at pollination can be a factor, but hybrid susceptibility differences are small. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Dialing 1-800-POTASH!

As mentioned in last week's Ontario Farmer potash deficiency symptoms are showing up many soybean fields.   You do not have to drive very far to see lots of examples.

Many farmers just assume the drought was too severe and the plants are starting to ripen.  The reason for the deficiency showing up now is because potash demand peaks during the pod fill stage. Most assume there is nothing they can do.  Very few farmers actually ask about potash deficiency.  Take a close look at your fields.

If you see symptoms that look like this you have potash deficiency.  There are two main reasons for the symptoms to appear.  Either the soil has low potash reserves to begin with or the ground is so compacted the plant cannot forage for the available potash in the soil.  Most of the time in our neighbourhood it is caused by low potash reserves in the soil.  It is a worry that despite spending big dollars on land purchases and rent, farmers are not keeping up with basic soil maintenance.  The solution is simple, but you have to get off your wallet one more time. 

A good explanation on the benefit of potash and phosphate applications in soybeans from the University of Wisconsin can be found at the following link.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Down The Back Stretch

I posted a while back about our planting date trial in soybeans.  I thought it was time to update our observations.  There is a lot we can learn about growth stages of soybeans and the effect of weather during the later development stages of the crop.

For a refresher these are the reproductive stages of a soybean plant.  The stages seem complicated, but you just have to look at the top of the plant to make the assessment.

R3 - Beginning pod, short pods visible in top 4 nodes of the plant.

R4 - Full Pod, pods 2 cm long at top 4 nodes of the plant.

R5 - Beginning Seed, seed .3 cm long at top 4 nodes of the plant. 

R6 - Full Seed, seed in upper pods fills the cavity.

The R5 stage is the most critical for yield development. The soybean plant can shake off earlier problems and still produce high yields if weather co-operates during this stage. It is why Horst Bohner will say it does not matter what happens to the crop until August.  He is right.  What is sometimes not mentioned however, is the effect of maturity in the yield equation.  That is why we are looking at full season soybeans planted early, May 11 and late (for this year), May 26. 

Pioneer variety 92Y12 is an early group 2 bean.  Early group 2 is approxmately 3050 CHU.  A lot of you would not consider plantring a bean this late.  Some of you do not want to plant corn hybrids in this maturity range either.  That is ok.  Very full season crops are not for everyone.  You have to feel comfortable with your maturity choice. 
The reason we looked at 92Y12 is purely yield.  This is one of the highest yielding group 2 varieties on the market.  Last year in our strip plot it yielded 72 bu/acre harvested on October 12.  We would not be doing our job as a Pioneer rep if we did not push the edge of maturity to see if it makes sense for some of us to try it on a larger scale. 

The May 11 planted 92Y12 were still producing a few flowers at the top pf the plant last week.  This is the late stages of R4.  The upper pods are forming.
Further down in the canopy the pods are flat.
The 92Y12 planted on May 26 is in the R3 stage of early pod formation.  A long way to go, but the growing season is not over. 

The other variety that is being evaluated in the planting date trial is 91Y61.  It is a mid group I variety which is  approximately 2900 CHU.  This is closer to the maturity that, at least in corn, many of you are comfortable with.
The May 11 planting date is just entering the R5 stage.   
The 91Y61 planted May 26 is close to the same maturity stage, late R4, as the May 11 planted 92Y12. 

For comparison we also have late group 0 soybeans planted on May 11.  A late group 0 variety is approximately 2750 CHU.
90Y90 is an example of this maturity. 
Soybeans in this maturity are well along in R5 and approaching R6.  These beans have had extreme heat and drought stress to contend with.  The R5 and R6 stages are both about 2-3 weeks in duration under normal circumstances.  Where the drought is worse it appears the early varieties have rushed through the R5 period quicker than normal.  What effect will this have on yield?  Probably negative. 
It is way too early to make many predictions.  August and September weather will decide who wins the gold in this race.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Does Anybody Know A Good Crop Consultant?

I blew it, big time.

Spider mites have been lingering in the area and I had seen some evidence starting to show up.  I had even taken some shots from a neighbour's field early last week.

I kept telling myself we have never seen major outbreaks before in this area and it was going to rain.  This problem would be isolated.  My soybeans did not have any spider mites.  Meanwhile Peter Johnson was yelling at everyone to spray for spider mites.  Populations will explode he warned.  Yeah Peter, you were right.  I was wrong.  Now there is injury in many fields and Brian has started spraying.  The problem is once you see this degree of injury it is almost too late.  It is like closing the gate after the cattle have got out.  We let a week go by and did not react.  Now it is a long weekend, retail outlets are closed and the supply of dimethoate is almost gone. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Sometimes It Is Not As Bad As It Seems

I was out yesterday looking at more stressed corn.  The picture below is how the field looked.
Customers have been asking about corn plants burnt up to the ear and what to expect.  We all assume the worst.  A week ago this crop would make you cry.  It was shrivelling in the heat because the rains continued to go around.  3/4 of an inch arrived on Friday night.  I went about 10 rows from the edge and picked the ears shown below from 7 consecutive plants in the same row. 
Five of the seven are respectable.  And with a little more moisture it may surprise.  We all have been in a combine and seen a lot of little ears coming in the header and corn piling in the bin.  The season is not over and the plant can pack a lot of test weight into these kernels.  A week ago you would want to plow it under.  Yesterday, not so fast.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Fertility Tips

I was out this afternoon looking at some badly stressed corn.  It was easy to see how pollination was affected by the drought. 
My rough estimate would be 25% of the kernels on this ear were not fertilized.  That does not equate with 25% yield loss because if soil moisture levels improve the plant will put more weight into the fertilized kernels.  On the other hand if it gets drier, the yield loss will be worse.

There is a good video from the Pioneer website describing the impact of severe drought on both corn and soybeans.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Following Message Has Been Approved By The Kirkton Horticultural Society

Justin Toews sent this picture to me wondering what had left this tangled mess on his soybean leaf.  I suspect others have asked the same question this year walking their soybeans and finding this symptom.  You will see it on random, widely scattered plants.  The chewing is confined to one or two leaves and doesn't spread to other leaves or plants. 
It is caused by the thistle caterpillar which during the process of building his home leaves a tangled web and chewed up leaf.   It takes him about a week to do his business and then he pupates.  This is when the Horticultural Society gets excited.
The adult of the thistle caterpillar is the painted lady butterfly.  Flower lovers adore butterflies.  A few mangled soybean leaves are a small price to pay in order to keep the Horticultural Society happy.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Keep Trying Sabine

Sabine Maas was telling me last week how she has tried everything she can think of to make it rain.  Leaving the van windows open, washing the house windows and leaving home with laundry hanging outside on the line has not worked.  Yesterday around St Marys and east toward Embro, it actually rained about 1-3"depending on the cloud you were under.  No such luck on this end of Line 6.  Which leaves us like Sabine, not so patiently waiting.
The corn plant is moving on through the pollination stage of development.  Brown silks are evidence that pollination is complete.  You can tell how successful pollination has been by carefully removing the husks.  Fertilized silks fall off the cob and unfertilized silks stay attached to the cob.
 This ear is fully fertilized with 18 rows of kernels.

This ear has mostly green silks and they still are attached to the cob.  In this field this is not a problem because pollen shed is in full swing and in a couple of days all silks will be fertilized.  We have a lot of growing season left and yield potential is still high in a lot of fields.  I believe we are 1" of rain away from a crop that will be much better than it appears now. 

Even plants that look like the ones above,
Will change to looking like this one after a good shot of rain. It will surprise us what they can produce, but they need rain now.

Many have been questioning the value of fungicides, given the lack of rain.  I remain an optimist and believe the rain will come in time to make fungicide use worthwhile.  This morning I was out with Brian applying a test strip of Acapela on his corn.  Acapela is a new fungicide product from DuPont that belongs to the strobiluron class of fungicides. 

If your corn looks like this, fungide will pay.  Typical yield response is 7-10 bu/acre.

If your corn looks like this, the answer is obviously no.  But there is a lot more good corn than poor corn in our neighbourhood which I believe is still worth protecting. 

Just don't ask Brian to do it.  He cursed the whole time we were in the field and this is what his radiator looked like after one round. 

After my post last week looking for blinders Bill Arthur's daughter offered to design human blinders for interested clients.  Ask and you will find.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Where Can I Buy Some Blinders?

That didn't take long.  Wheat harvest started and finished in 7 days.  Yields were respectable, 80-100 bu/acre, some more, some less.  Pioneer wheat varieties performed well, especially 25R40 and 25R39. 
Dan Mitchell, service manager for Stratford Farm Equipment, phoned last Tuesday wondering why so many farmers were complaining about the poor samples coming from their Case combines especially with varieties like 25R56.  My experience has been tough thrashing wheat is usually a genetic problem.  We were spoiled for years with 25R47 which always produced a clean sample regardless of conditions.  Some of the newer varieties that delivered more yield were not as pleasant to work with.  Hulls glued to the kernel, more cleanout at the elevator and more diesel fuel were the end result of planting this type of wheat. 
Pioneer's new 25R40 takes us back to the easy thrashing days of 25R47 with improved yield potential.  It's family tree includes a connection to 25R47.
The other thing making the situation worse this year was the dry spring.  Dry cold weather in April delayed tiller heads from maturing as quick as the main heads.  Rain in June encouraged the delayed tillers to grow and produce wheat.  These later maturing tiller heads were impossible to work with.  This made Dan's life miserable, but it sure wasn't the combine's fault.

Horse trainers use blinders to block distractions and keep the horse focused straight ahead on the road or track.  The drought has been causing a lot of distractions as I drive down the road.  It is painful to see crops suffer and know that we are powerless to do anything about it.  We are actually lucky in this area.  It is not as bad as it sometimes appears.

The two pictures above are from the same spot in the field.  The top one was taken at 3:00 in the afternoon.  The bottom was taken at 9:00 the next morning.  The best time to evaluate drought stress is early in the morning.  If the corn recovers and the leaves unroll over night the yield loss from drought is almost zero.  Growth and development occurs at night.  If the moisture stress is relieved over night, the plant functions close to normal.  It will sacrifice some plant height, but grain yield potential is still excellent.

This picture was also taken locally and these plants will obviously not recover fully.  The crazy part of farming in our part of Ontario is 10 feet away from this picture I took the next picture.

The two pictures are from the same field and the same hybrid.  Because I prefer to be an optimist, I know which picture I am going to focus on.  I am going to ask my neighbour Don Thomson the ferrier, if he can make me a set of blinders.