Most would agree that yields [especially in corn] are tremendous in 2016. The high yields provide some much needed respite from low prices for many. The tale of the tape will be read in the offseason, but indications are for one of the biggest crops in history. Many growers have been noticing marginal areas producing much better yields than expected while they also have noticed some historically high-yielding areas are underperforming expectations.
Outside of the obvious: flooded/saturated soils….In early May night-time temperatures dipped below freezing and we’ve recognized this as the causative agent for yield reduction, albeit inconsistently. Most growers affected by the frost saw a confusing situation this spring. Diminished, uneven stands looked worth keeping – and they likely were – even looking back. However, we’ve seen as we cross the finish line that although many plants survived and produced an ear, these ears weren’t as robust as neighboring ears that didn’t experience as much stress from the early frost. In fact, we’ve seen reductions in ear weight(s) of 10%-15% due mainly to less rows and ear length [flagged plant to plant observation].
In summary, higher yields may have been possible with a later replant – but it’s still unlikely that a higher economic return would’ve been achieved given these circumstances. View the attached PDF for an in-depth look.