• Agriculture Technology
  • Oct 22, 2018

Quickly Predict Corn Plant Drydown

Harvesting corn crop from the combine cab point of view
Monitoring cornfield drydown trends can be time-consuming and needs to be done during one of the busiest parts of the growing season. It’s difficult to walk every field and collect samples to test for grain moisture and assess late season stands when there are so many other things that require your attention. That’s why it’s important to let technology lend you a helping hand.
Pair tools for improved outcomes
Using the R7® Field Monitoring Tool to keep tabs on corn plant health is the first step to coordinating optimal harvest order. The imagery allows you to see trends in declining vigor and moisture levels, two important indicators of field drydown. Following up with the R7 Field Forecasting Tool will help predict the speed of drydown and allow you to prioritize fields for planning harvest order.

Using the Field Forecasting Tool over time on cornfields can reveal different rates of drying and further refine your harvest plans. For example, two fields may both be at 25 percent moisture on a given day, but a week later, the tool may show that one field has dried much faster than the other and should be moved up in your harvest schedule.

Verify the findings
The moisture prediction is a newer feature of the tool, so we've been testing it by conducting both hand-shelled grain moisture checks and comparing it to the combine moisture sensor readings  to see how accurate the model is at predicting levels for the field. In my recent pre-harvest checks, the tool has shown to be quite accurate in its predictions. The tool told me that the moisture level should be at 25 percent, and that prediction proved to be true when scouting that area of the field.
Minimize expenditures, maximize convenience
Knowing how quickly corn plants are drying down against the backdrop of an exceptionally rainy harvest season, for example, can help you forecast how much propane you’ll need. Tapping the Field Forecasting Tool for this information can help you find efficiencies. Being able to target the fields that you need to scout so you can moisture-test those fields rather than driving many miles to sample every single field can save time and money.
Your time is limited as the season wraps up, so take advantage of the technology at your disposal. Mining the layers of information that the Field Monitoring Tool and the Field Forecasting tool provide can help you prioritize your harvest order and get the best yields of quality corn.
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