By STEVE BINDER
MALTA, Ill. — It wasn’t the best-producing corn plot of the season, but Steve Drendel’s DeKalb County acreage nonetheless registered “excellent” numbers despite a lack of rain during key periods in June and July 2012.
“There were a handful of other plots with better numbers overall, but Steve’s Malta plot did very, very well,” said Jason Beyers, the Farmer’s Independent Research of Seed Technologies (F.I.R.S.T.) site manager for Drendel’s land.
“Except for the lack of rain in June and July, the numbers would have been better. But he did catch enough water after that, and that made all the difference,” Beyers continued.
While some of the higher-producing plots last year posted totals in the 245 bushels-per-acre range, Drendel’s land came in at a more than respectable 190.6 bushels on the full-season test. Planting took place on April 24, with harvest on Sept. 25.
Conditions were ideal for planting and for harvesting, Beyers said. Drendel’s soil also is ideal; it is a silty clay loam that drains well.
“It is a good type, but it also has excellent water-holding capacity. This is the seventh year in a row that he has gone corn-on-corn, so that’s impressive,” Beyers pointed out.
Soil conditions at the time of planting consisted of high levels of P and K with a pH of 6.2.
In an ultra-early corn test, the top-yielding spot went to Great Lakes variety 5368VT3PRO, with a yield of 182.9 bushels per acre and a gross income of $1,380 per acre.
Second was Renk RK708SSTX with a 182.7-bushel production and gross income at $1,369. The third finisher was Cornelius variety C303SS with 182.2 bushels per acre and a gross income of $1,368.
Moisture levels for the top three varieties in the test were lower than expected, at 16.9, 18.6 and 18 percent, respectively, Beyers said.
In the early-season test, Dyna-Gro CX48VP76 finished first with a yield average of 183.1 bushels per acre and gross income total of $1,375 per acre. LG Seeds’ LG5533VTPro finished second at 180.8 bushels per acre and income at $1,357.
In third place was Renk RK752SSTX, with a 180.3-bushel yield and gross income at $1,342 per acre. Moisture levels in this test were slightly higher, with an average overall of 19.9 percent; the top three finished at 18.1, 18.1 and 20.2 percent, respectively.
For the full-season test results, yield was better because of additional rainfall in late summer, Beyers said. “It was a good, solid plot overall, with no disease at all. The height of the plants was average, and the stalks were in great health.”
Finishing in the top spot for the full-season test was LG Seeds LG2620VT3 with a yield of 190.6 bushels and a gross income of $1,417 per acre. In second was AgriGold variety A6533VT3, at 186 bushels and income at $1,382.
In third place was Dairlyland DS9212Q at 185.5 bushels and income at $1,366.
Average yield for the entire plot was 165.1 bushels per acre. For all corn in Illinois last year, the average was 105 bushels per acre, according to the USDA’s final crop report released Jan. 11.