Three-stage corn yield estimates, red clover, and the fungicide call — LIVE! with Greg Stewart


Every corn plant doesn’t make a cob, every cob can add extra rows, and nearly every kernel can be pollinated…or not. Each of these yield estimate factors are impacted by different management, explains Greg Stewart, agronomy lead for Maizex Seeds, in this Thursday edition of RealAg LIVE!

Of course, Mother Nature has the final say, but Stewart and host Shaun Haney explore how the Ontario corn crop is shaping up, what factors are contributing to yield, and more on what went in to the fungicide decision this year. (Summary is found past the player)

Don’t miss RealAg LIVE! Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday each week at 1 pm Mtn/3 pm Est across social media channels! 


  • Greg and Shaun share a stylist
  • 2020 is one variable corn crop (height, tassel timing, pollination?)
  • Those that decided not to spray in the dry spell, will they regret it? It’s a complex decision. Sometimes it’s just about disease risk, sometimes it’s more about the overall stress package, and the last component is ear mould. And that’s a rainfall, humidity, and pathogen question
  • Farmers growing for their own hog farms definitely sprayed to minimize DON risk from gibberella
  • Others, looking at the price of corn, maybe didn’t think it was worth it
  • Headed in to “soybeans need water” time
  • Central and east of Ontario were very dry, but received nearly ideal rainfall at the end of July and heading in to August
  • Walking corn fields right now — get your ear count now (prior to this you were maybe looking at plant counts) because not every plant makes a cob, not every stalk (plant) will generate an ear.
  • Figure out why, and what you’re going to do differently next year to make sure those plant establishment numbers line up better with cob formation numbers
  • Rows around (14, 16,18) is set around V6 timing — you might be able to push a hybrid that sets 16 to 18 if your management and establishment are bang on and Mother Nature was kind
  • Nitrogen management is a factor, for sure
  • A yield estimation is built from three scouting times: early (setting number of cobs), mid-season (setting rows around), pollination success (kernels)
  • Higher test weight isn’t the exact same as having heavy kernels. Big kernels might not get you the best test weight but might get you a nice yield (genetics plays a role, here)
  • Fungicide application may help to keep that plant green and help that corn plant pack that starch in those kernels
  • Expectation of the Ontario corn crop? We might be pleasantly surprised!
  • Should Ontario have front-loaded N? Well, in dry years it usually ends up being the best bet. Be aggressive at the start, then look at mid- to end-of-June. Think about application costs, too
  • Double crop beans are still worth a look, but it’s a high risk proposition
  • The Sharp Edge — a video series, check it out! Double crop beans, strip tillage, and more!
  • Strip tillage: sometimes it’s a tough proposition to change over equipment if you’ve got a solid system in place already
  • Cover crops — heck, you could still do well with red clover. It doesn’t always have to be super fancy. It’s about the cycling of nitrogen, so remember that when planting cereals or other cover crop options.
  • Remember! The corn crop went in early, so don’t miss the perfect silage window. Be attentive, don’t farm the calendar. Check your milk lines!

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