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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Record-High Corn Yields Expected for Ohio

November 25, 2003

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio corn growers are marching into a record-yielding season, all thanks to wise hybrid selections, good management practices and, most of all, some well-timed favorable weather. The Ohio Agricultural Statistics Service is reporting a state average of 154 bushels per acre. If realized, it would be an all-time high for corn growers — 5 percent higher than the current record of 147 bushels per acre established in 2000, and 75 percent higher than last year’s 88 bushel-per-acre take. “The corn crop this year is excellent, and it’s due to several factors,” said Peter Thomison, an Ohio State University Extension agronomist. “Soils were dry at planting, we had a mild growing season with plenty of soil moisture — basically no stress on the crop when we look back at in perspective of the entire growing season.” Thomison said a timely planting due to dry spring conditions helped boost the chances of high corn yields. According to the Ohio Agricultural Statistics Service, 83 percent of the corn crop was planted by May 4 — 34 days ahead of last year’s schedule and 20 days ahead of the five-year average. Though excessive rainfall plagued areas of Ohio from May into June, causing ponding and inducing some seedling diseases that inhibited growth and development, growers were spared a hot, dry summer that could have caused additional problems. Instead, the corn crop was treated to well-placed rain showers and cool temperatures that boosted growth, especially during grain filling, and limited or delayed foliar diseases. “We had concerns that maybe too much moisture would lead to cloudy days and not enough heat units for the crop, but those problems didn’t materialize. What were the overriding factors were timely rains and cool temperatures that promoted good grain fill and also minimized stress when had we had spotty dry periods,” said Thomison. The use of more effective and improved management practices involving nitrogen management, hybrid selection, crop establishment and pest control also helped to increase yields, added Thomison. “I think what this is telling us is if growers aim for a good production year by following recommended seeding rates and nitrogen applications, choosing good hybrids, and following good management practices, and those growing favorable growing conditions come about, the potential for high yields does exist.”

Candace Pollock
Peter Thomison