Southeastern Corn Crop Recovering from Rough Start

Much like 2013, the 2014 corn crop has gotten off to a rough start, but Ron Heiniger, NC State Corn specialist says at least the crop is at least in the ground:

“We finally have about 99% of it planted after a tough start.”

There’s been a focus on even emergence in corn, and Heiniger says this year the weather didn’t cooperate enough to achieve an even stand in most cases:

“The cold weather in April and this wetness lately has really hurt us in getting even stands. The first week in April looks like it was the best time to plant corn as well as the first week in May. We are seeing some unevenness and yellowing from water standing in the fields.”

Heiniger says many producers are starting nitrogen applications:

“We need to count on the weather to help us along with the process. Most growers are getting into their nitrogen. We need to get as much growth as quickly as we can and these temperatures are helping with that. We will look for some more rain here.”

But, much like last year, a rainy April and early May has created some shallow-rooted corn:

“I’m worried about where our root systems are. Some of the later planted corn will be better off since it didn’t have all the rain on it. Its early growth let it get some roots down.”

But, all in all, Heiniger says the crop looks good:

“I think most growers are seeing the early nutrient systems are starting to fade. We had some early insect problems but many are starting to alleviate. We are past the worst conditions of the early season and now its up to the weather.”

NC State Extension Corn Specialist, Ron Heiniger.



A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.