Stressed, stunted, and uneven corn found throughout our trade area…

Yesterday, I looked at some fields near our Melrose and Galesville locations and saw patterns of stressed, stunted, and uneven corn. These patterns have been seen all across our trade area, especially in medium to fine textured soils. It appears these patterns have shown up in our fields for a number of reasons. The primary culprit is the weather conditions we have gone through. The pounding rains have helped to compact these soils and reduce or eliminate the amount of oxygen present in the profile. Combine this with cool, cloudy and wet conditions and you can see the results. Areas of the field that have tighter soils from either the type of soil present or traffic patterns show the stunted symptoms much easier. If you can cultivate, that would help break up these tight soils and allow some air movement to occur. If cultivation is not an option, please try to reduce the stress on the plant wherever possible by keeping the field weed free (use a residual herbicide whenever possible); maintaining adequate fertility (confirm with tissue analysis); reducing the possibility of diseases (consider a foliar fungicide); and monitoring nematode pressure. Please let us know if you diagnose any issues you are seeing in your fields.

Stunted corn near Galesville.

Stunted corn near Galesville.

Stunted corn near Melrose.

Stunted corn near Melrose.

Stunted corn near Melrose.

Stunted corn near Melrose.

– Rob Shields, Agronomist

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Dealing with wet fields, weeds, and pests this week (June 3-7)

This week is shaping up to be a wet one which is a problem for some of the fields that are weedy and too wet for us to get into to spray. Consider increasing rates, and heating up your tank mixes for better weed control on taller weeds when you do get into these fields later. Continue to be vigilant in looking for black cutworm clipping of corn.  The threshold is 3% of plants clipped to warrant a spray. In the potatoes, the first generation Colorado beetles are laying eggs so look for newly hatched larvae next week. Do stem and stand counts this week to determine populations, and weed scouting to see if the hilling operation missed any weeds. Watch out for common ragweed especially as they are very difficult to control if they get larger than 2 inches.

Colorado potato beetle

Colorado potato beetle

Common ragweed

Common ragweed

– Otto Oemig, Agronomist