Handsome ear of corn
DREAM EAR: If only all ears were as handsome.

Smartphone says ‘Great yield!’

Crop Tech Update: Smartphone apps can help you assess pre-harvest yield potential.

This fine ear couldn’t be left in the field after being pulled off its stalk during a fall field day. So it was put through a smartphone’s corn yield calculator app and brought back to the office as a trophy.

Numerous yield estimator apps can be downloaded to your smart phone or mobile tablet to simplify yield calculations — even begin early forward-price contracting.

Thoroughly test any app you choose to be sure its math and your math match up, cautions Purdue University agronomist Bob Nielson. Some offer multiple kernel "fudge factors," but don’t specify kernel numbers per 56-pound bushel. Some allow sampling three ears at a time. Most don’t allow you to save results. So take your notepad and pen along with your smartphone.

Let’s see now ... with 18 kernel rows, 38 kernels per row and a 29,000-ear population, that’s 247 bushels an acre. I’m sure you’d be happy with a few fields of it.

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