Agronomy Talk

Agronomy Update

N. Indiana and Michigan: Corn and Soybean Stand Establishment and Scouting Corn Insects

Published on Monday, May 19, 2014

Corn Stand Establishment
This past week drenched our region with 4 to 6 inches of rain, followed by cool if not cold temperatures. Corn that has germinated and/or emerged (young plants) should be okay. Concerns/challenges usually occur with fields planted the day of or the day before big rain events. Corn slows its growth in cool weather. Root growth is very limited or does not occur in saturated, oxygen-depleted soils. A return to warmer temperatures (those above 60F) will be more conducive to positive growth events.

Soybean Stand Establishment
Some of the same corn comments hold true for soybeans. About 30% of our area got their soybeans planted last week. Very few fields have emerged. Rain and cool temperatures have held germination and emergence processes in check. The saving grace thus far is cool, not warm temperatures. Seed rotting mechanisms usually don’t become active until warmer temperatures occur.
Stand Evaluations

By all means, when conditions and fields become fit and suitable for planting, plant the “unplanted” acres first! This will give any “challenged", earlier planted fields time to hopefully recover so a proper assessment can be made. Generally, replanting of corn is only a positive benefit much earlier in the spring. You are better off 95% of the time to keep an earlier-planted, reduced stand than replanting full populations at later May dates. Check out the table/chart on page 13 of the 2014 Purdue Corn & Soybean Field Guide.

Bean populations can be surprisingly low and still have nearly 100% yield potential. Low bean populations make most growers very nervous. However, evenly spaced, reduced bean stands (90 to 100K healthy plants per acre) offer as much yield potential as high populations. Any bean replanting decisions should be made by V2. Replanting after the V2 stage of growth offers no economic benefit. Switching to fuller season bean maturities is not beneficial until the 2nd week of June.

Corn Insects
Black Cutworm
If you haven’t heard or read, there have been tremendous Black cutworm (BCW) flights/trappings across the area due to intense storm fronts from the southwest. Feeding has also been found when scouting fields. Poncho® 1250, Herculex® 1 Insect Protection with Roundup Ready® Corn 2, Optimum® AcreMax® insect protection, Optimum® AcreMax® Xtra insect protection, and Agrisure Viptera® 3110 technologies from Beck’s Hybrids all offer control of BCW. The small larvae must take a bite of traited tissue to be affected. Planting into weedy fields may require an additional insecticide application, i.e. in combination with pre-emerge herbicide application.

Perfect environment for slug damage is high residue fields, cool, wet soils and cloudy days. They will damage soybean cotyledons as well as injure leaf tissue in corn.

Armyworm Counts
Armyworm counts have been especially high in the northeast Indiana quadrant. Wheat fields are at risk and should be scouted now.

Purple Corn
Inevitably, we will soon be observing reddish-purple leaves on the young corn plants. The cool air and soil temperatures, along with wet conditions, are the culprits. Often this coloring is related to stress encountered by the young seedlings. This is temporary and plants will recover as weather improves.

Call your Beck’s dealer, seed advisor, or me for further information! Thanks for your continued confidence in Beck’s!

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Denny Cobb

Denny Cobb

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