What to Look for When Scouting Indiana Corn and Bean Fields


May 17 corn and soybean update

Rainy weather that halted planting moved through Indiana starting Thursday night and Friday, but before rains hit near Warsaw, Indiana HAT took a closer look at emerged corn and soybean plants with agronomist Matt Hutcheson, product manager at Seed Consultants. He was checking for uniform stands and seedling diseases in the fields Friday, and we stood in the most advanced bean field he has seen this season.

“This field was planted on the 25th of April, so the seed would have been in the ground a few days before the cold, wet weather arrived, and that helped it a lot in terms of germination and getting off to a good start before going through stress,” he said. “Other fields that were planted 26th or 27th, right before the wet weather didn’t survive as well and may have to be replanted or may have already been replanted. But this field appears to have a great stand and there are no disease issues we’ve found yet.”

Soil crusting is somewhat common this year, making it hard for new plants to break through the surface.

“In some of the heavier, more clay type soils you’ll find soil crusting especially where tillage was performed this spring and then there were heavy, pounding rains so we’re seeing some soil crusting. Even though the seed is viable and still trying to grow the coleoptile is having trouble coming up through that crust, so we’re digging up some seeds in those fields and seeing some corkscrewing and some deformed seedlings.”

In the coming weeks, Hutcheson says it’s important to scout fields and get a good handle on the new crop and whether replant might be required in some areas.

“As we wrap up planting scout our fields, monitor our emergence, look for disease issues in the early development of our seedlings,” Hutcheson said. He adds, “Keep an eye out for pests including black cutworm. There’s a potential for damage from black cutworm with reports of higher incidence of moths being caught in traps. So, we just want to keep an eye on our corn fields and make sure we’re monitoring for that damage.”

Hutcheson cautions farmers about getting back in the field too soon after these recent rains. There is potential to do more damage than yield loss might have otherwise been due to late planting. Learn more in the HAT video from the Seed Consultants field just southeast of Warsaw, Indiana in Kosciusko County. The reports are on the Hoosier Ag Today YouTube channel.

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