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Why NK Seeds is Expecting More Acres to be Planted in Indiana in 2022

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Corn plants. Photo: Ashley Davenport

With the crop in the bin, Indiana corn growers can look back on 2021’s growing and harvest seasons with a little more clarity. Too much rain the end of June not only broke a drought in the region, but it also triggered an early onset of diseases.

“We definitely saw more tar spot this year, especially in northern Indiana and Michigan overall,” says Mark Riehl, Great Lakes agronomist for NK Seeds. “In Indiana we found it all the way down to Shelbyville, Greensburg where we hadn’t seen it that bad down there before.”

There aren’t any tar spot resistant varieties, but he has seen some promising results from fungicide trials.

“In northern Indiana, I had a trial where some hybrids basically averaged 70-bushel responses,” says Riehl. “You wouldn’t notice because some of the corn was going almost 200 [bushels], but where the fungicide was, some of the corn was getting close to 300 bushels per acre. We had a great crop either way, but it took the top end out of some really good corn.”

Acres of NK Seeds are expected to increase in Michigan/Indiana this spring. Riehl says it has to with how their hybrids stand up to tar spot.

“We do have tar spot tolerances rated on all of our hybrids,” he says. “We can make those selections fairly easy. For people who are concerned about the price of inputs, they are concerned about how much more they’re going to be able to spend on these [fungicides].”

If growers are looking to incorporate some of these hybrids, a few rise to the top for Riehl.

“NK0877 is a product we brought in that 108-day range that has fairly decent tar spot tolerance—better than what we’ve had in that maturity group,” says Riehl. “That hybrid did very well in the first trials. NK1188 had an awesome year last year in northern Indiana. Even though tar spot tolerance is not our highest rated, it seemed to do a pretty good job across all diseases.”

For more information, contact your local NK retailer or visit their website.