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The experiments were designed to determine the extent to which late harvesting helped to achieve low grain moisture content. The grain moisture contents of 24 hybrids from each of four different maturity groups were recorded during the last decade of September and the first decade of November over a period of three years (1999-2001).
The data indicated that late harvesting led to a substantially smaller difference between the hybrids. While in late September the difference between the grain moisture content of the earliest (FAO 200) and latest (FAO 500) hybrids was 8.9%, this value dropped to 1.5% over the average of three years when measurements were made in early November. With the exception of the earliest group, the grain moisture content in all the maturity groups declined during October. The later the hybrid, the greater the decline.
This change in the grain moisture content during October exhibited a considerable year effect. When the weather in October was warm, with little rain, the decrease was greater, while in cool, wet years the grain moisture content declined to a lesser extent, or in some cases even increased.