2002 Corn Performance Tests
The Georgia Agricultural Experiment Stations
College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
The University of Georgia

Research Report Number 684
October 2002

2002 Corn Performance Tests

Edited by Anton E. Coy, J. LaDon Day, and Paul A. Rose

The Season

The 2002 corn season was generally favorable for grain production in irrigated fields but a four year drought continued across the state. Georgia corn producers seeded 330,000 acres to corn, an increase of 18% over 2001.

March rains gave generally adequate planting moisture and by the first week of April, planting and emergence were at the long term average. By the end of April corn was suffering from a lack of moisture and irrigation was necessary. These conditions caused higher than normal insect problems. Late May rains and cooler temperatures gave some relief but soil moisture remained in short supply. Irrigation usage was higher than normal allowing the crop to progress ahead of average except in non-irrigated areas where drought stress was severe. Some areas of the southern coastal plain were damaged by rust and other leaf diseases, but in general onset of disease did not severely impact the crop which was progressing ahead of average. Planting of genetically modified hybrids such as Bt and Roundup Ready was becoming a factor in Georgia corn production.

Dry soil conditions continued during the season as rainfall ranged 8 to 14 inches less than long term averages across six Georgia corn variety test locations as listed below.

Growing Season Rainfall1, 2002

Month Blairsville Calhoun2 Griffin Midville Plains Tifton
----------------------------------------------------- inches ------------------------------------------------------
February 1.49 1.81 2.12 2.33 2.62 1.65
March 6.94 6.68 5.19 5.00 5.03 5.16
April 1.62 0.99 3.07 1.61 2.44 2.62
May 5.77 4.82 3.33 1.49 1.09 0.78
June 1.08 1.66 3.56 2.32 2.64 0.60
July 4.29 3.39 2.40 2.62 5.27 3.35
August 2.41 3.01 0.60 3.46 3.04 2.30
September 6.01 6.22 4.12 4.62 3.80 4.12
Total (8 mo) 29.61 28.58 24.39 23.45 25.93 20.58
Normal (8 mo)* 37.80 36.98 35.30 32.57 34.48 34.66
1. Data submitted by Dr. G. Hoogenboom, Georgia Station, Griffin, GA.
2. Floyd County location.
* Based on 73-year average.

Maturity and harvest proceeded ahead of average with generally good field conditions. Of the 330,000 planted acres some 280,000 were harvested for an estimated yield of 125 bushels per acre. This was below the record 134 bushels per acre of 2001, but total corn grain production for the state was expected to be 35.0 million bushels, a 19 percent increase from 2001.

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