While we didn't get a killing frost, it was bad enough to cause damage to Central New York corn fields. Jeff Miller with Cornell Cooperative Extension says it will have an impact on moisture content at harvest. Here's his suggestions on determining the right time.

If your field was damaged by frost and the ears are dented, and you plan to harvest for silage then it is important to take a sample of whole plants and determine the moisture content soon so you harvest at the correct moisture.

Otherwise wait a week, view the damage and sample and determine the moisture content. Use Growing Degree Days (GDDs) to predict when your corn will be at a harvest-able moisture content and grab a sample a week ahead to determine moisture levels. We have amassed 412 GDDs on September 3rd from an average tassel date of Aug 8th. We are averaging about 15 GDDs per day. Bill Cox’s research indicates 600 GDDs for shorter season hybrids and 800GDDs for long season hybrids to reach harvest moisture levels after tassel.

Jeff suggests reading the University of Wisconsin Extension's website for more information on frost's effects on corn. Or contact Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Ag Team at (315) 736-3394. Office hours are 8:30 to 4:40 Mon-Fri.

SOURCE:  Cornell Cooperative Extension - Jeff Miller

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