Tuesday, May 29, 2012

May 29

We had a good but busy weekend, I hope you did, too. Most farmers are wanting a good rain on their crop right now but the green radar has not brought much if any. It is a critical time for moisture to get the soybean crop up and corn requires plenty of water but not too much!

I see 2013 wheat is over $7 today. The buyers are already bidding a profitable price for soft red winter wheat even though much of this year's crop hasn't been harvested yet. Harvest is as far north as Missouri though and it won't be long. I expect small grain harvest to be record early this year and the hot temperatures the last few days should really bring it to maturity.

Farmers are busy finishing up soybean planting and side dressing corn hard. You can see all your problems if you drive through your corn slowly and there are plenty of problems to look at in most fields. Pythium is still affecting corn from Iowa to Ohio and many stands have went down hill. Every little thing we did right or wrong shows today and the biggest thing I see is planting date.

The farther your corn is planted after the crop insurance date of April 5 for here, the worse the stand is in general. So corn planting date was critical again this year and only for a few days of planting does the corn stand and color look right.

This question was asked today. "I've got a part of a corn field that has been damaged by pythium, but to date the corn has survived. The infected corn plants are probably 8" shorter than the same variety of corn planted the same day and are probably two leaves behind. The stand is still OK. I'm seeing stand counts from 20-30K. When I dig the plants the seedling root is still viable, but the nodal roots have shown little activity and the crown is slightly brown on some of the plants. We've also been very dry which hasn't helped these plants in the least, but a good chance of rain is in the forecast for Thursday.

The question is this. Does anyone have experience with this corn through a growing season? If I leave this corn will it eventually start growing normally and produce an ear? If the stand was inadequate it would be a no-brainer, but I hate to tear up a decent stand and start over.

Any management ideas or help will be appreciated."

My answer was "We are going through the same thing here. This may be the worst pythium hanging on problem I have ever seen. Normally the plants tend to grow out of it, at least to some degree but these are new genetics, new chemistries and I am not sure what to expect. We know those sick plants won't make full yield.

The big question is will spotted in or replant pay? What I have seen replanted so far, the stands are better and more consistent but they are later and won't be as high yielding as the better early stands, probably. It's almost June 1 and this isn't 2011 when our June 5 corn could make 200 bu. That was unheard of.

You just have to walk it, talk about it, think about it and pray over it and decide I am replanting this or I am keeping it.

I think God gave me the chance to test 300 bu corn this year maybe and I missed it by not planting in March. But some March corn still has pythium in it so I don't know.

Know that sick corn will never make full potential and go from there. Will you make more replanting it or keeping it?"

I hope I gave good advice. I leave you with another picture from Fort Salem of Bill Bare's property. He answered my email and I hope to stop and chat and catch up on old times.


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