Potassium (K) plays vital roles within corn plants for carbohydrate, nutrient, and water flow. It is instrumental in gas exchange from the plant to the atmosphere as it regulates the opening and closing of the stomata of the leaf; it is also a key component in cell walls which add to stalk strength. Potassium is essential for photosynthesis, maximizing water use efficiency, helping maintain plant health, increasing test weight of grain, and nitrogen use efficiency. A corn plant requires almost as much K as nitrogen (N); however, when looking at soil test values across the Midwest, soil test K values have been falling. This is largely due to increased grain yields removing higher amounts of K from the soil and insufficient K applications.
Categories: Agronomy, Agronomy Talk
Tags: corn, Agronomy, Agronomy Talk, soil tests, potassium, corn development, POTASSIUM deficiency
Phytophthora root and stem rot is a common soil-borne disease in soybeans that is caused by the watermold, Phytophthora sojae. Phytophthora often occurs in poorly drained soils; it is most economically damaging in low-lying areas and fields that are prone to flooding.
Tags: corn, Agronomy, Agronomy Talk, PHYTOPHTHORA ROOT, PHYTOPHTHORA STEM ROT, corn diseases
Ear and kernel development is a lengthy process for a corn plant. It begins at the V5 growth stage as the plant determines kernel rows around and then continues to V12 where the potential maximum length of the ear is determined. Next comes the pollination stages where the maximum number of kernels is established and then finally, R5 when the maximum kernel size is established.
Any stresses, natural or manmade, during this process, can lead to abnormal ear set. Many of the abnormal ears and their causes are detailed below. Accurate diagnosis of these abnormalities can help prevent future problems in the field.
Tags: corn, Agronomy, Agronomy Talk, CORN STRESS, Ear DEFORMITIES, ear stress, ear formation
Harvesting downed corn is one of the worst jobs on the farm. Year in and year out, there are many abiotic stresses or plant pathogens that will affect standability and ease of harvesting a corn crop. One of the most prevalent issues causing decreased standability of corn is the presence of crown rot and stalk rots. These diseases take advantage of compromised stalk tissue, and degrading it below the ear causing lodging and stalk breakage. There are, however, ways to improve the process of harvesting downed corn that can make it much smoother.
Tags: harvest, corn, Agronomy, stalk rot, down corn, standability
Short husking is best described as “corn ears outgrowing their husks.” It results in more exposure of the ear tips to environmental conditions and increases the potential for reduced grain quality.
Tags: harvest, corn, stalk lodging, short husking, heat stress, drought stress
Ears on the ground prior to harvest is frustrating and often misunderstood. Pest damage, weather stress, reduced nitrogen (N) uptake, and genetics can all contribute to dropped ears. However, identifying the causal agent may help you implement strategies and management practices to minimize ear drop in the future.
Tags: harvest, corn, Agronomy, Ear Drop, Corn Yield Limiter
Corn rootworm (CRW) is a pest that, if left unmanaged, can cause economic damage in most of the Corn Belt. Damage can result from root-feeding while they are in larval form and from adult beetles clipping silks during pollination.
Tags: corn, Agronomy, Beck's Agronomy, corn rootworm, corn pests, beetles, corn root damage
Green snap, also called brittle snap, is the breakage of a corn plant usually prior to tassel during the rapid growth period of corn from about the V5 (5 visible leaf collars) – R2 (silk).
Tags: corn, Agronomy, Agronomy Talk, GREEN SNAP, brittle snap
Crown rot infections are caused by both fusarium and pythium species. These fungi enter the plant via the root system during periods of prolonged saturation, predominately between the V2 and V7 growth stage. Because these fungi persist in higher moisture environments, infections are more prevalent in wetter soils, tighter clay soil textures, higher magnesium soils, and ponded areas of fields. While these infections occur early in corn development, they can persist much longer as the visual signs are not easily detected until later in the grain fill period.
Tags: corn, Beck's Agronomy, Corn Disease, crown rot
Corn foliar diseases can have similar symptoms. See below for a refresher on 6 of the most common foliar diseases in Beck's marketing area. For help with a specific situation, or to learn more about management options, reach out to your local Beck's representative.
Tags: corn, Agronomy, Beck's Agronomy, Corn Disease, Agronomy Talk, Gray leaf spot, Northern corn leaf blight, southern rust, Common Rust, foliar corn diseases, brown spot, goss's wilt
Broad areas of the Corn Belt have experienced one of the most challenging planting season in recent memory. Farmers did what they do best, and bided their time for a planting window. Corn acres from South Dakota to Ohio were planted weeks later than what is typical. And while many farmers are already worn out from the extended planting season, most are more nervous about what’s to come.
The good news is that late planted acres still have great yield potential. If Mother Nature starts cooperating, this season has abundant hope of producing competitive yields.
Tags: corn, Scouting, Pollination, Nitrogen, insect pressure, Disease, Agronomy Talk, Delayed planting, late-planted corn
Take a walk with Field Agronomist and Herbicide Specialist, Austin Scott, through a Tennessee corn field and learn more about increased black cutworm pressure.
Tags: corn, Agronomy, Black Cutworm, insect pressure
There are many reasons a corn crop may fail. In some years it’s a late frost and in others, soil surface crusting. Regardless of the reason the stand fails, it is important to destroy the original crop before replanting. Yield losses can occur if just 5,000 of the original corn plants remain to compete with the new stand. Therefore, it is imperative to successfully eradicate as much of the existing stand as possible.
Tags: corn, tillage, herbicides, terminating corn, failed corn
When a corn kernel is planted into warm, moist soil, water is absorbed through the seed coat and the kernel begins to swell. The critical soil moisture required for corn to germinate is 30%, and a corn seed will absorb 1.5 to 2 times its weight in water during the germination process.
Tags: corn, GDUS, corn development, corn growth stages, GDDs, corn growth
During rainy springs, fields may flood or even stay saturated for long periods of time. Flooded fields have two forms: saturated or waterlogged (where only the roots are flooded) or submerged (where the entire plant is under water). Saturated or waterlogged soils are more common than completely submerged plants, but they can both be damaging to yield.
Tags: corn, soybeans, nodulation, early-season flooding, seed damage, fallow syndrome
So, you’ve planted your crops… now, how long do you need to wait for them to emerge?
A corn crop requires moisture to emerge, about 30 percent soil moisture at minimum. It also needs about 120 Growing Degree Days (GDD) accumulated.
Tags: corn, planting, Emergence, growing degree days, GDD, soybeans. agronomy, stand counts
Early-season frost damage is a stressful physiological event that can slow plant development. The net impact of early-season frost will depend on the health of the plant before the frost, the extent and duration of the freezing temperatures, and the growing environment following the frost.
Tags: corn, soybeans, FROST DAMAGE, freeze damage, early-season damage
We have received a lot of phone calls about down corn throughout the season.
Early on, this issue was primarily caused by saturated soils and heavy winds that pushed the corn over at the root system.
Tags: corn, Agronomy, Steve Gauck, late-season corn damage, crown rot, down corn, becks agronomy
There are numerous stalk rots that affect corn in mid to late season. Weather, nutrition and genetic disease tolerance all play major parts in the disease cycle. Plants move nutrients from the stalks to the ears during grain fill. High yields mean heavier ears. These two phenomena combined can make stalk quality issues a problem even in very high-yielding areas.
Tags: corn, Disease, stalk rot, residue management, corn stalk rot, plant stress
Tar Spot is a new phenomenon in the US. It is caused by a fungus called Phyllachora maydis, native to Central America. Tar Spot had only been identified in very isolated geographies in the U.S. until the summer of 2018. In Central America, the yield-robbing form of Tar Spot forms a complex with two other plant pathogens, neither of which have been documented in the U.S. It is unknown whether the Tar Spot organism is forming a pathogenic complex with other species present in the Midwest.
Tags: corn, Disease, tar spot