On-the-Farm Update: Storm Damage, Disease Pressure, & Grain Fill

By Troy

Fantasy Farming Challenge 2016 – July Update from Monsanto STEM Education Outreach on Vimeo.

Since our last on-the-farm update, the corn plants on the Fantasy Farming Challenge plots have seen quite a bit of action. Aside from shaking off the storm that rolled through on June 22, the corn has grown from the vegetative stage to the reproductive stage, gone through pollination, and (for those who chose it) had fungicide applied during R1. It’s been busy, to say the least!

In this video, we talk a lot about grain fill. I will be showing you how farmers check grain fill by carefully stripping an ear of corn and looking at the developing kernels. Closer to harvest, around the time that students will be visiting the Learning Center to see their plots, farmers may do this again – pulling off a few ears from their plots and shucking them – to count the kernels and calculate the yield potential. We won’t be able to figure out the exact yield for your plots, but we can get a general idea.

Best wishes to all of you who have started back to school, and I’ll see some of you soon!


Troy is formerly a high school Agriculture teacher and FFA advisor who is passionate about teaching Agronomics, Ag Science, and Plant Biology. Now the manager of the Monmouth Learning Center, Troy has led the Fantasy Farming Challenge since 2013, helping hundreds of high school students to understand the choices farmers make against the challenges of weather, disease, weed management, and insect pressure.

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