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 Melrose.
Stunted corn near Melrose.
– Rob Shields, Agronomist
More wet weather ahead in the forecast makes for tough hay drying weather, and more rain is the last thing we need on some of the wetter ground that we have been waiting to plant all season long. Also, this cool wet weather favors pythium in the soybeans and we have been finding some dead seedlings in several fields across the area.
In the potatoes, the second hilling is getting finished up and fields should be checked for weed escapes. Also, Colorado potato beetles are laying eggs in full force, expect the first generation of larvae to emerge next week. The black light traps are extremely quiet right now with only a few cutworm moths.
Looking forward into the future, consider doing some nematode testing on your farm this year. Nematodes are microscopic worms that exist in almost all soils and, while many are harmless or even beneficial, there are several plant parasitic nematodes that may be secretly robbing yield year after year. Many of you are probably familiar with soybean cyst nematode, but there are many other nematodes that affect other crops. Nematodes that are particularly damaging in corn are dagger, lance, root lesion, and needle.
At Pest Pros, a division of Allied Cooperative, we sample and test soils for nematodes to measure a fields relative risk for nematodes in the future. Such information can help you identify and begin to manage a nematode problem. Sampling can also help you asses your Poncho/Votivo and Avicta programs. For more information on nematode testing, contact the Pest Pros lab at (715) 335-4046.
– Otto Oemig, Agronomist