Grain Test Weight Considerations For Corn

By Bob Nielsen – Purdue University

Among the top 10 most discussed (and cussed) topics at the Chat ‘n Chew Cafe during corn harvest season is the grain test weight being reported from corn fields in the neighborhood. Test weight is measured in the U.S. in terms of pounds of grain per volumetric “Winchester” bushel. In practice, test weight measurements are based on the weight of grain that fills a quart container (37.24 qts to a bushel) that meets the specifications of the USDA-AMS (FGIS) for official inspection (Fig. 1). Certain electronic moisture meters, like the Dickey-John GAC, estimate test weight based on a smaller-volume cup. These test weight estimates are reasonably accurate but are not accepted for official grain trading purposes.

Fig. 1. A standard filling hopper and stand for the accurate filling of quart or pint cups for grain test weight determination. (Image:


The official minimum allowable test weight in the U.S. for No. 1 yellow corn is 56 lbs/bu and for No. 2 yellow corn is 54 lbs/bu (USDA-AMS (FGIS), 1996). Corn grain in the U.S. is marketed on the basis of a 56-lb “bushel” regardless of test weight. Even though grain moisture is not part of the U.S. standards for corn, grain buyers pay on the basis of “dry” bushels (15 to 15.5% grain moisture content) or discount the market price to account for the drying expenses they expect to incur handling wetter corn grain. Continue reading

Combine Set-up Field Day

By Amanda Douridas

After the difficult harvest last year, and the prevalence of volunteer corn in soybean fields this year, there is a need to re-visit proper combine setup to minimize loss during good years or bad. Join us on September 16, 1-3:30 pm as experts discuss proper setup for corn and we look at this applied in the field. Dr. Elizabeth Hawkins will discuss yield monitor calibration through the season. Jason Hartschuh will walk over a combine and share set-up tips. We will also discuss care and cleaning which could save a lot of headaches this fall due to shortages in replacement parts and equipment. Lastly, a harvest demonstration will show yield loss with different setups and how to calculate it. Location is the corner of Clark and Herr Roads north of Urbana. Bring a lawn chair if you do not want to stand for the duration. In the event of a cancellation due to weather, please register to provide your contact information:

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