Harvest Corn a little Wet to Stop Fungal Growth

Kevin Phillips, DuPont Pioneer Field Agronomist in Georgia and South Carolina says the wet growing season thus far while creating problems early, is continuing to create problems, some rarely seen in the mid-Atlantic:

“Farmers who have been farming for 50 years have never had a year like this. Its what we are calling unprecedented rain fall. We have seen a whole year’s worth of rain in one growing season. We’ve seen the nitrogen leach from corn fields, we have been dealing with stalk rots, leaf disease and now seeing ear molds.”

And Phillips’ advice is much as it was when trying to harvest wheat:

“Growers just need to monitor the fields and try to get into harvest as soon as possible. The ear rots and molds tend to damage corn when its 25-30 moisture and below. As long as its in the field in that moisture it will get more damage. So if you can get that corn pulled at 22-25% and get it in a dryer and down to 15, it will minimize your harvest losses. I would just suggest growers be as urgent as possible and monitor the stalk integrity and the grain quality and get out there as soon as possible.”

While it’s still early, problems with cotton and soybeans are anticipated, too says Phillips:

“Since the growing season we are probably 200-300 growing degree units short. It’s just showing up in all crops with shallow roots. Wet soils increases the likelihood for lodging and roots pulling out of the ground. All those wet weather problems are affecting all of the crops. In some soybean crops its so wet that the fungi are creating nitrogen deficiencies and the beans are starting to die and making yellow spots where the bugs that are supposed to be creating nitrogen have drown. So some areas are thinking of putting nitrogen on both soybeans and peanuts.”

Kevin Phillips, Field Agronomist with DuPont Pioneer in South Carolina and Georgia. For more Pioneer In the Field Reports, click here.


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