Saturday, July 7, 2012
This Corn Thing
I had stalks break off right at the top of the ground yesterday before I could dig or cut them. Brace roots and all broke off even with the soil with a black plaque cutting off most of the nutrient flow and standability. There were 6-8 foot corn plants, tassle and ear that broke right off. The main roots and brace roots were all blackened at the point of soil contact.
The main thing is though this is just the worst I have found and almost every plant I look at as some off color in the crown root nodal root area at the soil surface. They are not clean and healthy all the way through although they are very white and healthy above that point.
One friend in Iowa said he had healthy white crown roots. I ask if there is a thin darkened area at the soil surface? Right down the road for him is plants just like what I found yesterday and am finding all over. It isn't drought, it is something else.
It seems to accompany symptoms of Goss's Wilt, Giberella Stalk Rot, pink colored leaves and other symptoms. It seems to be a result of seed and herbicide practices and even the best tillage or no tillage and nutrient management.
Yes, I am talking about GMO herbicide and insect resistant crops. It is interesting that Monsanto received a patent a few years ago for a GMO Goss's Wilt corn germplasm. I have heard that material is in their grow out labs right now. It will be more interesting to see how this plays out because I don't think that is it. This structure seems to be a product of normal environmental impact on the way we are currently growing corn. The way we grow corn today looks similar to 20 years ago but in truth it is much different in germplasm and herbicide.
You learn something every day. If you have any questions or comments on this problem, please email or call. The comment section below is always open, I hope it is easy for you to use.
I am concerned about this drought as anyone but there is something going on in our corn fields that potentially looks much bigger to me than any drought.