Tuesday, December 24, 2013


Around this house there is a tradition that started when the kids were much younger.  An artistic rendition of Christmas is created every year using homemade gingerbread.  It started out innocent enough with simple 4 sided structures that resembled houses and barns.  As the girls got older the houses became more sophisticated with windows, shingled roofs, wrap around porches and Christmas lights.  Icing is the glue that holds everything together and different candies are added to create a unique display.  The best part is that every item used is edible.  We have gingerbread to snack on well into January. 
This year the tradition took a strange and according to some a very dark turn.  No more houses, barns or cute settings of Christmas scenes.  No more visions of sugar plums and dancing fairies. 
Star Wars geeks will recognize this as an AT AT vehicle which made its first appearance in Episode V "The Empire Strikes Back".  Our gentle loving daughters are not as gentle as they appear to be.
Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Newsletter Is Coming

Just putting the finishing touches on our fall newsletter.  The following is an excerpt from this year's edition.  The full edition plus plot results and opinions on a variety of topics will be out this week.

In the meantime,

A wise farmer and former Pioneer sales rep in this area is often quoted as saying that you need to grow hybrids adapted for this area.  He was not in favour of planting full season hybrids.  Too much risk with wet corn and early killing frost was his rationale.  We would agree with this, however the maturity bar has moved since the time this statement was made. 


The 30 year average heat unit accumulation at London airport is 3215 heat units.  If you assume there is 200 less heat units in South Perth, our average maturity selections should focus around the 3000 heat mark .  This means our adapted maturity bracket is now 29-3100 heat units.  Back in the time of our wise former Pioneer sales rep 3000 heat unit was considered full season.  Anything above 3000 was just plain insanity. This is no longer true. Times have changed.

To illustrate this we looked at our own plot that had two maturity groups side by side.  There were 5 hybrids that ranged from 2850-3000 heat units and 5 hybrids that ranged from 3000 to 3150 heat units.

“Late Group”
“Early Group”

The full season group produced $34.20 (9 bus x $3.80) more income minus drying cost of $12.00 for a net of $22.20 per acre. 

We recognize that 30% corn is too high for some drying systems to handle efficiently.  A lot of 3100 HU corn does not make sense in this case.  There are a number of good  hybrids with good drydown characteristics that make 29-3000 heat unit selections appropriate for these systems.  Times have indeed changed.



Sunday, November 3, 2013

Morris Says It Best

Corn harvest has not gone as quickly as we hoped.  It looks like the end of March, rather than the 1st of November, judging by the state of the local creeks and rivers.
Elevators have been reporting a lot of 51-53 lb test weight corn coming in.  Despite earlier fears of wet corn, moistures are in the low 20's in many fields.  The range of yields has been huge, as low as 100 and as high as 200.  
A tremendous amount of chatter has circulated about certain hybrids and their lack of performance.  I posted back in September about the amount of Norther Corn Leaf Blight present and showed some hybrid differences.  A lot of what growers are experiencing, whether good or bad is directly related to the amount of NCLB pressure in their fields.

Morris Sagriff, Pioneer Agronomist has put together a detailed account documenting the unique conditions that caused NCLB to flourish and overwhelm a number of different hybrids.  The remainder of this post is based on points from Morris' summary.

When disease pathologists speak they often refer to the disease triangle.  A big problem occurs when all three parts of the triangle line up.

1. Pathogen
Northern Corn Leaf Blight is present every year and easy to diagnose due to the unique lesions observed on the corn leaf.  Normally NCLB infects the plant late in the growing season and has little effect on yield.  It actually helps drydown most years by killing off leaf tissue.  Low corn moistures this year are directly related to NCLB pressure.
If the disease is present early in the growing season the lesions destroy effective leaf tissue reducing the size of the factory in the corn plant.  The effects of the smaller factory are witnessed as reduced yields and test weight. 
A severe infection will look like this picture and is sometimes mistaken for frost injury.  The corn plant fights back by mobilizing reserves in the stalks to make up for leaf loss.  Stalk quality suffers as a result.  Corn infected with NCLB tends to be a pain to harvest.  Standability can be reduced, but plants infected with NCLB are also brittle and the cob does not separate easily from the stalk.  The whole plant comes into the feeder house. 
NCLB over winters on corn trash.  Corn on corn fields are more prone to heavier pressure.  Last week we were witness to a 30 bushel yield difference on the same farm where part of the farm was 2nd year corn vs the rest of the farm planted to first year corn.

2. Environment
In 2013 the weather pattern produced a perfect storm condition that greatly favoured NCLB development.

The chart shown above is meant to depict the timeline of corn development vs disease timing.  Corn tasseled during the last week in July and first week in August.  This is slightly later than a normal tassel date of mid July, which in itself is not unusual.  Cooler than average June and July temperatures were the reason for the 2 week difference.  We have witnessed this in years past and still not had a serious NCLB problem.
What was significantly different in 2013 was the timing of infection.  A heavy infection occurred in early August versus a more typical mid-September date in a normal year.
NCLB lesions were observed as early as August 9.  The disease had more time to attack the plant during the critical stage of grain fill.  NCLB takes away effective leaf area, reducing the factory available for sugar production.  Cool, cloudy conditions continued into August.  Just think back to that frustrating wheat harvest for a reminder of what the weather was like at the time.  NCLB is a fungal disease and fungal diseases love cool damp weather.  Early infection combined with ideal conditions for development and spread creates a significant problem if you are a corn plant surrounded by NCLB spores.
Morris speculates that the disease pressure was heavier in a triangle from Goderich to Woodstock and back to Grand Bend due to the storm patterns off southern Lake Huron in July.  The storms created a much heavier than normal NCLB spore load.
These wind storms left a trail of goose necked corn in the same area.  I would add that because of the storms corn plants were weaker and more susceptible to infection. 
It needs to be noted that other factors including soil health, soil tilth, drainage, fertility and planting date can have adverse effects on plant health.

3. Host
Diseases evolve and change over time.  A fungal disease such as NCLB is made up of populations of different races.  The dominant races will change and shift from one year to the next making life challenging for breeders trying to stay one step ahead of the disease.  A resistant gene that breeders used, known as Ht1 is no longer effective against NCLB.  Breeders are forced into taking a muti-gene resistance approach to give protection against NCLB.
Despite the advances in technology allowing breeders to bring products to the market faster it still takes years to evaluate a new hybrid's potential.  Usually severe weaknesses are identified during this time, but exceptions still happen. 

In summary it is reasonable to conclude the disease was more prevalent in Huron, Perth, north Oxford and north Middlesex counties this year due to the three components of the disease triangle, namely pathogen, environment and host all lining up in perfect order.

The management techniques growers can  employ to reduce NCLB infection include

1.Reduce corn residues with crop rotation.
2.Leave no more than 30% residue on the soil surface.
3.Plant timely into good soil conditions.
4.Use a foliar fungicide at tassel time to control fungal diseases like NCLB.
5.Select hybrids with an above average score against NCLB. 

Keep in mind the exact conditions that favoured NCLB this year are not likely to repeat next year.  That is why I put hybrid scores at the bottom of this list.  There will be a different disease that assaults the corn crop next year.  The first 4 techniques listed are important tools in the fight against all diseases.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Some Reflection Required

Soybean harvest is over and it is time to evaluate performance.  IP promoters have been active in their quest to sign up growers for next year.  Premiums have been established earlier than ever and the story is demand for IP soybeans is high.  Please sign up, life is good for IP producers.
I admit to a having a bias because I sell RR soybeans, but the interesting thing is there is a lot of RR soybeans grown in the area for crush and for seed production.   I have been doing a straw poll among growers inquiring about yields and a clear trend has emerged.  I know that my poll has no scientific basis for accuracy because IP and RR soybeans are never grown by the same grower in the same field.  However, this is what I have found out so far.
RR soybeans are yielding better than IP soybeans.  Using 50 bus as a bench mark, RR soybeans are consistently above 50.  Out of my poll of 20 RR soybean growers, 17 reported yields of over 50 bus.  They consistently mentioned a high level of satisfaction with the performance of their RR varieties.  Contrast this with the average response of an IP grower.  IP varieties have been consistently yielding less than 50 bus and growers express a much higher level of disappointment with these varieties' performance. 
If I were to put an average to it I would say the minimum difference is 5 bus.  If you take the newest RR genetics like 91Y01, P16T04R and P19T01R the difference is greater than 5 bus. 
Assuming 50 bus yield plus a $3 IP premium nets an additional $150 per acre for IP.  No doubt this is attractive and worth considering. Taking a 5 bus yield penalty and extra herbicide cost cuts the premium in half.  Is $75 dollars worth the extra hassle of making sure the beans are perfect to capture all the premium offered?
I encourage everyone to offer their opinion.  If I am wrong, please tell me.  I know the discussion will continue. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Let The Kids Out

A common question the past few weeks has been whether I had seen any ear molds. After the debacle in wheat this past summer and the wet foggy mornings in September, the common assumption was ear mold levels in corn would be high.  I have been seeing some low level infection like the picture below for several weeks, but it had remained spotty and not high enough to raise alarm.  However, gibberella ear rot is very unpredictable.
Three weeks ago this is what it typically looked like.  The black tip is a symptom of giberella ear mold development.  When you break the cob open it looks you see a rotten core which is a clear illustration of why it is called gibberella ear mold.
I was interested to hear the OMAF summary of their gibberella ear mold survey in corn this past week.  The synopsis was ear mold levels are very low, with the exception of a couple of hybrids.  I know enough about ear mold to never make too many assumptions and looking around the last few days has made me increasingly nervous.  I am seeing more of this white cotton like symptom which most producers identify with ear mold.
Another thing I know about ear mold is that visual assessments can be misleading.  The presence or absence of visual mold has little bearing on actual toxin accumulation.  Mold will continue to grow and produce toxins until corn moisture drops well below 25%.  With grain moistures in the 30% range there is still time for toxins to accumulate.
I would agree that most fields do not have a mold issue, but corn growers need to pay attention if they see ear molds developing.  Moldy corn will always yield less because mold feeds on the starches in the kernel reducing test weights and dry matter..
If you are a livestock producer, harvest and dry the crop as quickly as possible.  If you have the flexibility, keep your cleanest fields for feed and sell the rest on the cash market. Blending grain is a tactic that can reduce problems because it is the toxin amount in the finished ration that determines livestock performance.  
Going forward Pioneer continues to screen genetics for gibberella mold tolerance.  P9754 has been advanced due to outstanding tolerance to ear mold infection.

 Clean grain right to the tip.  Priceless.  

Monday, October 7, 2013

Back in Black

A lot of chatter last week about black layer in corn.  It seems everyone is out looking. Some are finding black layer and others have not.  Is this a cause for worry?
No.  This kernel is from a 3000 HU hybrid and is displaying a distinct black layer.  Fuller season corn hybrids may not be showing a visual black layer, but they are finished the grain fill process.
This is a 3100 HU hybrid on the left beside the 3000 HU kernel on the right.  There is no moisture left at the base of the later kernel.  It just takes a few days for the black layer to visually appear
If you pick the right kernel you can see the early formation of a black layer which some confuse with brown layer.  The take home message is this corn crop is complete from a dry matter accumulation point of view.

Grain moisture is a different matter.  Healthy corn is anywhere from 28%-35% moisture. Dry down is now a function of heat and humidity.  Fifty heat units will take 1 point of moisture out of a kernel that is over 25%. After 25% it takes 75 heat units to drop 1 point of moisture because drier kernels take more heat to remove moisture. With three weeks left in October corn will be 25%-31% by the end of the month.  Remember, this is healthy corn.  There are already reports of corn at 25% moisture.  Corn this dry died a month ago due to northern leaf blight infection and while it may be dry, yield and test weight will be poor.

A customer also asked last week about ordering seed corn with no Cruiser or Poncho insecticide.  His field is beside a bee yard and the bee owner has concerns about his bees dying from neonicotinoid poisoning next spring at corn planting time.
The issue of bee mortality is very complicated and even bee keepers do not agree on the causes.  However, if the bee owner is concerned with the use of neonic insecticides there are options.  Pioneer has committed to providing neonicotinoid free seed for 2014 spring on specific hybrids. The list of hybrids available are popular hybrids over a range of maturity and include the following three which fit our area.

The important point is if you want to keep your bee neighbours happy and enjoy their honey I need to know.
There is a deadline of October 15  for these orders to be processed because the majority of the seed supply will still be treated with neonicotinoid insecticide.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Snorkels, Leaf Blight and Sympathy

That was just not called for.  Nobody ordered that much water.  
Pioneer Sales Rep Kevin Nixon, from Ilderton posted this picture.  With his ears in jeopardy he was ready to order a set of snorkels.

Some have been wondering about the bleached look that took over corn fields last week.  It looks like the crop was frozen, but not all fields look the same. How come?
The answer is it is not frost.  It is Northern Corn Leaf Blight.  It starts out looking like this.
The symptom for NLB is long cigar shaped lesions on the leaf.  NLB is a fungal disease that survives on corn trash and spread by rain and wind.  High humidity, heavy dews and moderate temperatures favour infection levels to increase and it can increase rapidly.
This diagram explains how NLB spreads quickly during the growing season.  Lesions can produce new spores in a week.  This rapid reproduction cycle allows the disease to spread more quickly than most other diseases.
When NLB becomes severe the leaf begins to look grey and "frosted" like the one above. Continuous corn where the previous year's trash is left close to the soil surface is more susceptible.  Hybrids can make a difference too.
I took this picture from a strip plot.  The hybrid on the left P9910XR scores a 4 for NLB resistance.  The hybrid on the right P0094AM scores a 5 for NLB.  Most years a 4 score is more than adequate, but not under heavy pressure.  Plants that have a lot of NLB infection lose photosynthetic capacity due to the reduced effective leaf area.  Test weight will tend to be lower and standability may be affected as well because the plant mobilizes reserves from the stalk in an attempt to fill the ear.

Finally a heart felt sympathy is extended to the volunteers of the International Plowing Match after Mother Nature forced them to cancel the last day of the match on Saturday.
Brian took this shot while going in to assist with the evacuation.  All the long hours of volunteer effort swamped in a sea of mud.  Very sad.  

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Harvest 2013

Corn silage harvest cranked up this week.  The most common word used so far when describing the corn crop, especially Pioneer 34A85 has been "awesome".  The second most common word has been "fantastic".
Silage harvesters have been hard to see behind the walls of corn.
Bunkers are overflowing.
And there is still crop left in the field.
This is good news for every corn grower.  Grain contributes 50% of the weight on average, to silage tonnage.  Heavy silage and high grain content go hand in hand.  This is evident looking at ear development on full season silage hybrids, like 34A85.
Get ready grain producers.  Your turn is coming.    

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Firing Squad

A lot of corn looks great in the area.  However, inquiries have been made this week about firing and pre-mature death that is occurring in patches throughout some corn fields.  Some of it is moderate firing like the field above.  Some of it is more severe as in the field below.
The drought stress through the last half of August has accelerated the condition.  Where it is severe we can start to find some kernel abortion on the ear tips.  The plant has made the decision to allocate resources to the oldest kernels and abort the tip kernels.  The yield loss from this is always less than what it appears.  In an ideal world we want every kernel.  However,the remaining kernels become heavier and will partly make up for the aborted kernels in the tip.
The more moderate firing is often related to N deficiency.  This leaf below is showing classic N deficiency symptoms.
It is common to see lower leaves look like this during the grain fill period.  As long as it stays below the ear there will be no yield loss.  This same plant had a healthy ear leaf and maintains excellent yield potential.
Our Pioneer Area Agronomist, Aric Bos wrote the following about firing.  He makes some excellent points, particularly the last paragraph regarding yield and standability.  I have reprinted his entire commentary.

For the areas where leaf firing has gone above or is approaching the ear leaf, or plants show severe stunting, and lighter shades of green; this has caused concern with growers, and seems to be more excessive in some areas this year compared to others.  In many cases, growers applied N in such a way to realistically fulfill their yields targets this year, but have still had excessive firing/N losses.

-          How was the N applied and in what form?
In many cases this year, side-dressed N fields look strong. Having all N applied upfront simply puts it more at risk for loss in a year like we had.
 The form of N also played a role. There were growers who side-dressed with Urea, but didn’t have the moisture to allow it to incorporate into the soil profile, resulting in N deficiency.

Fertility programs that credited higher levels of N units to cover crops and manure didn’t see those units come to fruition in some areas. Mineralization of these sources of N seemed to be slower this year. In Greg Stewarts pre-side dress nitrogen sampling survey this year, the level of N available at side-dress time was lower than expected and is thought to be due to lower levels of mineralization. (breakdown of organic matter into nitrates).

-          Stresses
Heavy rains
In sandy, course-textured soils – the amount of rainfall we had causes large amounts of N to leach below the root zone and out of reach of plant roots.
 In finer textured soils (clay loams, silt loams) – excessive rainfall caused saturated soil conditions and denitrification. Denitrification is the process where soil bacteria breakdown nitrates (the usable form of N) into a non-usable form for plants, which eventually gets lost to the atmosphere. The key to denitrification is that the bacteria only breakdown N in anaerobic (saturated) conditions. Even if there wasn’t necessarily ponding of water in a field, doesn’t mean those areas weren’t as risk. 5” of rain at a time can make soils saturated and create anaerobic conditions, even if you don’t see ponding.

 Some areas became very dry in the last few weeks and some had drought stresses back around silking. Water is the main carrier of nutrients into a plant. Plants will sacrifice lower leaves to a greater extent to fill this need.  Corn roots didn’t need to go digging for moisture earlier this spring, and so put them at a disadvantage when conditions became dry.

This causes root restriction, which doesn’t allow the plants to reach the nutrients, even if it was available.

-          Yield Losses?
In cases where whole plant growth was stunted due to excessive moisture, compaction, drought, etc a yield loss can be expected simply because there is less plant growth there. 55-60% of a whole plant weight is the grain (harvest index), and so stunted plants with less above ground growth will yield less.
Yield losses just from excessive firing are extremely hard to predict.  Firing shows that a plant is prioritizing filling its grain, at the expense of lower leaves and stalks. One thing to keep in mind would be the late season standabilty of some of these fields.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

From Aphids to Agitators

Topic #1
This past week was one of angst for soybean growers.  On one hand the soybean market was responding nicely to a weather scare in the US.  On the other hand soybean aphid numbers were exploding and eliminating some of those same high priced bushels.  By Monday afternoon, Brian and I made the executive decision to stop spraying.  If anyone asked, the bean crop was too far advanced and it was becoming revenge spraying.  This sort of worked until today when a couple of nervous growers wanted two fields sprayed and Russ wandered across an IMPACT plot where the full season varieties were under heavy pressure and not close enough to the critical R6 stage of development.  The R6 stage is when it no longer is worth killing aphids, however a lot of brain cells were being burned last week while trying to determine how close we were to R6 vs aphid numbers.  No one was satisfied, which was the reason for the stop work order on Monday.  The grower, the agronomist and the custom applicator were all getting grumpy.
The best description of soybean development I have ever seen is courtesy of Shawn Casteel, Purdue Extension.  Definitely worth a look and saving for future reference.


Topic #2
I always marvel at how a corn plant can pee on itself.  We had 2 mm of rain on Tuesday night which is the first measurable precipitation in 3 weeks.
The leaves work as a funnel to accumulate that small amount of rain at the base of the plant where it does the most good.

Topic #3
You sometimes hear agronomists preaching tip fill on corn.  I took some pictures today in my hybrid test plot.
This is P9754YHR a new 97 RM hybrid that has amazing tip fill.  This is a heavy test weight, outstanding grain quality hybrid.  The plant stand is a solid 33,000 and every tip looked like this one.
This is P9910XR, which will never fill its tip.  It can't and won't.  Doesn't make it a poor hybrid, just a hybrid that does not fill its tip.
P0216HR is a hybrid that Pioneer reps south of the 401 think we are crazy to plant this far north.  I am not sure I agree with them.  Half of the field around the plot is planted to 216.  I just need September to be frost free.
P0094YHR is a new 100 RM hybrid that has my attention.   Impressive appearance, with less maturity risk.

Topic #4
Leave it to Nuhn Industries.  I attended the North American Manure Expo last week which was held at the University of Guelph Arkell Research Station.  On display was Nuhn's latest invention, called the Lagoon Crawler.
It is an amphibious beast that can drive into a lagoon, maneuver and float while agitating and then drive out of the lagoon when the job is done.  The operator controls the unit while standing in complete safety on the bank of the lagoon.  Power washer not included.
A more detailed description is at http://www.nuhn.ca/lagoon-crawler.html

Monday, August 19, 2013

Thank You Ladies

On Friday, a seed that Cathy planted two years ago came to fruition.  We had a "ladies only" customer appreciation day.  It was made clear on the invitation that no men were invited. The idea was to hold an event that recognized the contribution of the females in farming.  At the same time it was designed to leave a memorable impression.  From my point of view Cathy, April and Terrilyn hit a home run.
A tent was erected in our back yard.
Tables were set with white linen.
 A floral centre piece was at each table.
 Everyone took home a gift.
Fancy deserts were added to the menu.

The real highlights of the meeting were delivered by Sandy Maynard, DuPont Pioneer Supply Chain Manager and Martina Pfister, DuPont Pioneer Western Ontario Dairy Specialist.
Sandy spoke of her career in a male dominated corporate environment at Pioneer.  She was often the "token female" in the management group.  12 out of 13 bosses during her career were male.  She told some humorous tales, such as the time she was assigned with 7 male managers to a 3 bedroom condo as part of a team building exercise.  She spoke with passion about the quality of new female employees coming on board with DuPont Pioneer.  Her goal is to mentor these young women and hopefully reduce the types of hurdle she had to overcome during her career.
Martina, who is exactly the type of enthusiastic young female that Sandy referred to, then spoke about why she chose a career in agriculture.  Growing up on a dairy farm provided the foundation.  Her travels to other parts of the world convinced her that agriculture was indeed the right place for her.

Well done Sandy and Martina.

PS Thank you Roy and Donna for the back up.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Wise Words From An Academic

I am taking a lazy man's approach to the blog this week and posting a link to a commencement address by the President of the University of Florida to PhD level graduates.  I know some of you have a very dim view of professional academics and social media, however this fellow made some great points about both.  It is a little long, but if you read through to the end I believe the message is one that is very applicable in today's society.    


Full disclosure - I found this address via Twitter.

One more alert about soybean aphids.  Keep an eye on your soybeans.  Aphid numbers are climbing in some fields.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

"Shiver Me Timbers"

Summer has been giving us the cold shoulder lately and it appears the trend will continue for the short term at least.

The common question floating through a corn growers mind is what impact will this low temperature trend have on the crop in the field.  The fact that corn responds to heat makes us inherently nervous when the thermometer dips below average in the middle of summer.
I am here to relieve some of that nervous anxiety.  In Ontario we are growing corn on the northern edge of the adaptability zone for this crop.  We are well equipped with drying and storage systems that allow us to harvest the crop at high moisture levels.  We had to invest in this equipment because our growing season is not long enough to allow the crop to dry naturally in the field.  That being said, from a plant development point of view, early tasseling is a major contributing factor to good yields.  An early tasseling crop provides a safety margin against late season problems.  Early tasseling is defined as completing the pollination process by August 1.  Normal tasseling extends the period into Aug 7.
Heat plays an important role in getting corn to tassel, but it plays less of a role after tasseling and during grain fill.  In the pre-tassel stage more heat means faster development which is good, less heat means slower development which is bad. Once pollination commences the relationship between heat and yield reverses. Excessive heat adds stress to a plant that is already at maximum load shedding pollen and fertilizing all the new embryos that become kernels.  After pollination the grain fill period of corn is broken down into 5 stages, each stage being about 12 days long.

Day 1-12. Milky embryo or blister stage
Day 12-24. Young sweet corn stage
Day 24-36. Beginning dent stage
Day 36-48. Half milk line stage
Day 48-60. Hard dent stage and black layer formation

Heat and drought stress shortens the stages, which we saw last year.  In 2012, we went from pollination to black layer in 50-55 days.  This year the stages will return to normal and with the cooler temperatures they may even lengthen a bit.  However, the 60 day estimate will remain fairly accurate.  High yields are built during years when plants make use of the long sunshine hours in August AND take the full advantage of the 60 day grain fill period.  Bright sunny days and average temperatures are ideal.  My buddy Pat Lynch has always argued that September weather determines the corn crop and he is at least partially correct.
The average killing frost date for this part of Ontario is October 7.  Given that our crops pollinated during the last week of July and 1st week of August, we are looking at black layer maturity on or about October 1.  

This is why the corn market has been losing its value the last month.  Moisture and cool weather do not cause much stress to the crop once it is pollinated.  The market is responding by trying to buy new crop corn as cheaply as possible.  An early September frost will upset this trend, but that is a discussion for another day.