Corn harvest pops despite weather stress
2017 was an extremely hot and dry year in Portugal, with temperatures reaching 40 degrees Fahrenheit above average and summer temperatures extending through the end of October. Precipitation levels were 70 percent below previous years. These climatic conditions led to weak pollination, which predicted substantial production losses.
In the south of Portugal, an already hot and dry region, Rui Barros, a producer of corn for popcorn, was looking for solutions to help him keep his farm productivity at a normal level.
Vasco Stubner, sales representative for Alltech Portugal, proposed a simple program aimed at helping plants maintain their vital functions so production isn't lost. Grain-Set® was applied through fertigation on June 15, and the corn was harvested three months later at the end of September.
The harvest numbers tell the story of Barros’ success:
Increased cob weight
Yield increased by 793 kg/ha (12.7 bu/acre) versus the control, which represented a return of investment around 5 to 1
“We have only intervened on a small parcel of this farm,” said Stubner. “With productivity results that exceeded all the farmer’s best expectations, we are definitely looking into broadening the area of application for next season.”
Beringel Farm, where the program was applied, has a total area of over 200 acres.