Hot, dry weather helping some crops catch up

Tar spot is starting to show up in parts of the Corn Belt and an agronomist at the University of Kentucky says he continues to monitor its movement. Dr. Chad Lee tells Brownfield its hot enough that it tends to keep tar spot away. “This is the second or third day in a row we’ve been at 90 and we’ve got a few more days like that in the forecast,” he says. “So those type of conditions are favorable against tar spot and other diseases for that matter.”

However, he says the prolonged planting season has farmers off on their crop management schedule and weeds have been problematic. “A farmer may have put a residual down in front of corn or soybeans, and by the time they got planted, that residual is played out and they needed to consider another residual,” he says. “Or they may be looking at a second post emergency application that they wouldn’t normally do most years.”

Lee says there’s still time to raise a good crop – but probably not a great one. “If there’s a year where farmers are tempted to really push on inputs and really push yields, I’m not sure this is the year to do that on most of our acres,” he says.

The condition of Kentucky’s corn crop improved two points, to 60% good to excellent, in the USDA’s latest Crop Update.

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