Another challenging year for the Indiana corn and soybean crops rolls on, although the state is in the midst of a mostly dry stretch of weather right now. But ask Purdue Extension corn specialist Bob Nielsen if he can put a positive spin on the northern Indiana late spring crop by pointing out some decent pockets, and he just chuckles, and then adds, “Well, no, not really. What little bit had been planted say the week before Easter, which in the northern half of the state wouldn’t have been very much, but some of those fields have gotten through the rainy period better,” he told HAT. “But we had a big rush of planting the week of the 22nd or 24th. We put an awful lot of corn in the ground that week and unfortunately that was the week just prior to the beginning of the lengthy rain period.”
Many of the fields planted the 22nd and all the way up to the 25th of April suffered from saturated soils, crusted soil surfaces, and damage from cooler temperatures during the period. Nielsen says the number of acres replanted and yet to be replanted is probably among the highest in a very long time.
Because of the young crop in many fields there remains a concern of seedling diseases like seedling blight.
“So there is still that risk of maybe even more damage occurring in some of these fields if some of these diseases take off. So they need to be scouting fields that maybe looked good last week, but it doesn’t take long for the seedling diseases to really begin to take out plants. So they need to just be watching some of these fields that are a little on the younger side to see if they can spot that happening.”
Nielsen added that farmers side dressing should “try to do that timely and for some of these fields that side dress operation will break up some of that crusted soil.”
If you want to begin to assess yield potential in some of your corn fields, Nielsen says you’ll need to do a comprehensive job of determining plant counts throughout the field. This year it will also be important to determine the overall uniformity of the crop.
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