Scout and prioritize corn fields for harvest  

Purdue University Corn Specialist Dan Quinn is encouraging growers to scout and prioritize corn fields for harvest.

“The big thing we always stress is scouting those fields that may have been stressed more than others and that really comes back to stalk quality and potential stalk lodging issues when we get closer to harvest,” he says. “In fields that may have been severely stressed this season we can get to the point where the corn plant cannibalizes itself in certain instances where it has lower stalk quality and then maybe you get lower stalk diseases. Even something as simple as walking your fields perpendicular to the road, pushing on some of that corn, and getting an idea if you have fields that are a little more prone to falling over than others and deciding if you need to prioritize fields in terms of harvesting them first in comparison to others.”

Quinn says it can help minimize the potential of downed corn.

He tells Brownfield incomplete kernel development, or tip back, is another concern.

“It’s really driven by drought conditions prior to pollination, during pollination, or just after pollination hindered some of that crop development and overall photosynthesis of the plant,” he says. “The tips of the ear are the most sensitive to environmental stresses, and the plant couldn’t fill the rest of the ear. Tip back is one of the biggest things I’m seeing and one of the biggest complaints I’m hearing as farmers are getting out in their fields and doing some field checks and really paying attention to those ears. I do suspect we lost some yield.”

And, Quinn says farmers should continue to scout for disease pressure.

“A lot of areas have been catching some rainfall recently and we’ve had some heavy dews and high humidity conditions so we could still see some diseases come in late that could also impact plant health and stalk quality,” he says.

Quinn says fields in Indiana have had minimal disease pressure.

“There’s some gray leaf spot here and there but disease levels have been very low, especially compared to last year,” he says “Tar spot was a big issue in a lot of corn, especially northern Indiana, last year. It’s here and there but nowhere near the amount of levels we’ve seen in the past and I think that goes back to some of the dry conditions we’ve had.”

Quinn says he’s hopeful recent timely rains and moderate temperatures will help improve yield in terms of grain fill and kernel weight.  

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