Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Crop Tour 8/26/13

My friends Jeff Littrell from Minnesota and Keith Schlapkohl from Iowa stopped by for a quick local crop tour yesterday.  They left their homes Sunday to visit people like me to the east.

I think we answered this post on Crop Talk:  "With the current heat and lack of rain in most of Illinois seems like a lot of corn is denting early anyone else seeing the pale set up?

OK kernel numbers just seeing affects of varying N application timing and when the corn wants to fill from the stalks and leaves early. Beans running out of time to max pods and seeds."

The poster, IlliniCCA summarized what they said they saw and what we saw yesterday.  We didn't find a field of corn that didn't have symptom's of Goss's Wilt in it.  If you don't understand the massive Goss's Wilt problem in US corn, you could go back and read some of my previous blogs about it.  It's been discussed many times on HyMark High Spots.

It doesn't matter if it is GMO corn or non GMO corn, it all has the symptoms.  It started from the seed up and first appears as a few black dots on the third or fourth joint of the corn stalk.  Now, as the season and disease progresses, it shows as sickened, yellow leaves that many misdiagnose as a lack of nitrogen.  The more advanced fields has the famous pink leaves I've spoken of.

To reinforce the belief there is not enough nitrogen, we saw several fields where the corn is black green and not dying where the nitrogen was doubled applied or 300 lbs plus of nitrogen.  So, nitrate is involved but extra nitrogen is not the solution to the problem.

The 250 bushel fields people thought they had will be lucky to break 200.  The 200 bushel fields will be closer to 150.  Since the national average was 124 last year we will actually be closer to that number than 200.  Dr. Mike Cordonnier is guessing 154 bu national average after his own crop tour.  We think you can take 10-20 bushels off that.  He might be right and I hope he is but the crop is sicker than anyone understands.

Keith and Jeff understand and are trying to teach people like me.  Right now all we can do is get people to see the problem.  We have all winter to discuss how to address the problem.  We will continue to address it here.

I started to talk about the problem in earnest 3 crops ago, this is 2011.


  1. I respectfully question whether the spots we see in every corn field are an indication of goss's wilt. Our local agronomists do not agree with the sentiment. The most experienced (20+years scouting) state its always there and more pronounced the more water (irrigation or rain) the crop sees. Our view is goss's wilt is a problem. However, minor discolorations (spots) on the stalk are normal and to be expected in irrigated corn production. Fwiw

    David Seck

  2. What I am talking about David is not water but influenced by nitrogen, for sure.

    My problem with minor discolorations is we never had them 20 years ago. It's not anthracnose because it will penetrate the layers and this comes off with your fingernail.

    The yield implications are huge. We are no where we should be with modern production methods and superior corn breeding.

    What is lacking?

    What is the cause of 124 bu national corn yield? It wasn't all water.

    Ed Winkle