Planting has been smooth sailing for many Indiana farmers so far this year, although some areas do lag the statewide pace. But now colder weather has set in and it could exacerbate a problem already popping up in corn. Technical agronomist Kirsten Thomas-Garriott has been seeing imbibition injury for the last week.
“It’s where if you’re out there digging your seed and you put it in two weeks ago or more, you’re seeing a very long radical root with a comparatively small sprout,” she explains. “That’s caused when the seed imbibes cold water early on, and at this point most of the fields I’ve seen could grow out of it, but we need to see how this forecast plays out in the next week or so. If it remains too cold, we could see corn with some twisting in the mesocotyls and leafing out underground. But, I’m an optimist by nature so I remain hopeful.”
Thomas-Garriott with DEKALB-Asgrow told HAT there is a similar issue in soybeans, but not as concerning right now.
“I’ve seen some similar twisting, chilling, thickening of the hypocotyl symptoms, but I saw my first field of soybeans up last week while taking stand counts where a couple of the plants per acre were affected by it. But they were mostly growing out of it, so if we receive some GDU’s I think there’s hope.”
She says we’ll have to wait another week to see how all of it plays out. Thomas-Garriott says agronomy 101 reminds us that good, robust seed treatments are a must, even when you’re looking for ways to reduce input costs.
“If you have maybe some of your seed that you upgraded treatment on, and stuff that you haven’t, I would consider putting the upgraded treatment products in the ground soon, and then maybe waiting a little bit for those products that you don’t have quite as robust of a treatment package on,” she said. “That’s something that’s probably already in your barn right now and it costs you nothing to kind of logistically re-order that.”
She also emphasizes the need to be on top of weed issues with a good herbicide program for both corn and soybeans, but don’t skimp on that soybean program.
“Make sure you get your multiple modes of action out there, your layered residuals down, and spray early after planting.”
Early-post fungicide applications are a great way to maximize yield, but the decision on that can still wait a few more weeks.