A number of fields have reached physiological maturity and a lot more are approaching rapidly. Folks are busy getting their combines ready to roll now and it won’t be long before we see corn harvest starting on a wide scale. You can see the black layer at the tips of the kernels pictured below.
Here is an internal view of a kernel sliced in half. The black layer is just under the tip.
We have a pretty decent corn crop out there, though there is a ton of stink bug damage in places. The first 12-15 rows of some fields are completely trash. Growers may need to cut end rows separate from the rest of the field in some places to avoid mixing rotting kernels in with good corn. There is some Aspergillus (aflatoxin) out there too.
There is plenty of good stuff out there. The ears below had excellent pollination all the way to the tip. Most of the ears in the field were the same way.
There are a few chances for rain in the forecast, so our biggest challenge from this point on will be getting the corn dried down and getting it out of the field. Our overall crop probably isn’t as good as the 2016 crop, but it’s miles ahead of where we were in 2015. We’ll have a better picture of that once the combines start rolling.