During corn tassling, producers wonder whether to irrigate or not. Dennis McCoy, Product Agronomist, Pioneer Hi-bred International has this advice;

"There’s always a lot of question about if the irrigation whether it’s from a hog lagoon or fresh water…how is it going to affect my corn pollination? And really, corn pollination begins mostly in the morning, and only when the tassles are dry will they shed pollen. So, if it’s too wet, either from a rainstorm or irrigation, it won’t shed the pollen until that period is over and it dries out and is able to shed the pollen. Of course, the silks need to be moist to accept the pollen, and that shouldn’t be a problem with an irrigation system. So, by all means if corn needs to be irrigated because of the dry weather or hot temperatures, irrigate the corn.”

There have been warnings all along that corn earworm could be bad this year in the Carolinas, and McCoy says that warning has come to pass:

“We had a warm winter, we’ve been concerned about the heavy insect infestation, and it appears that’s coming about with the corn ear worm. With the corn development, there seems to be an indication that there could be a heavy infestation of corn earworm. And now, with the Bt events, they offer control of corn earworm, and some events are moderate control; now there is feeding but it’s not as heavy as it is with convention corn. It just doesn’t taste that good to the corn ear worm, so they feed a little bit, and just quit. And then to the other extreme there’s those Bt events that does control he corn earworm very well, it’s almost non-existent, but they’ll feed a little bit even with very good Bt events.

So, I think we could be looking forward to a very heavy infestation of corn earworm this year, but it won’t be as bad though, as what it could have been.”

As far as grain sorghum, after a slow start, McCoy says it’s time to think about a nitrogen application:

“Sorghum production, you know it can planted anywhere from the first of may until the first of July. There are a right many sorghum acres going in behind wheat, also. But, just to give a little idea of where we are with this grain sorghum development; about three weeks after emergence is when the grain sorghum plant is developing the grain head. So, we need to be aware of that, and of course we need lots of moisture and lots of fertility during that grain head development. So, if anybody’s going to be putting some top-dress nitrogen on, it would be recommended to do that about three weeks after grain sorghum emerges, therefore giving it plenty of fertility before it develops into that yield potential.”

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