Corn Harvest Underway

The corn crop in the southeast got a slow start due to rain and cool temperatures, but now at harvest Dr. Ron Heiniger, NC State Extension Corn Specialist says North Carolina producers are looking at a really good crop:

“We are seeing outstanding yields. Though we do have areas that have been hit with damage and have things like green snap or rotted plants, making a few holes in our perfect picture. But we might break our state wide average this year.”

In most years, corn grown on marginal, or droughty soils have lower yields, but Heiniger says this year that’s not the case:

“It seems like growers on the sandy soils where they drain well were really pleased. And those on some of the better soils had too much water.”

Heiniger says right now, the corn being harvested is a bit on the wet side:

“That’s our biggest problem right now as we get started. The corn is running 20-26% moisture and been slow drying down. Cobs are wet and not shelling very easily. It’s a problem and has contributed to a slow start.”

Heiniger has this advice for harvesting wet corn:

“We’ve noted a disease where you have lots of moisture and good nitrogen availability. So far grain quality hasnt been too bad over all. There is some ear rot as well. I’m encouraging growers to move forward as much as possible as the crop quality will just get worse.”

Dr. Ron Heiniger, NC State Extension Corn Specialist. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.