Early-Planted Corn Looking Good in the Carolinas

Many producers across the Carolinas took a gamble and planted corn early. NC State Extension Corn Specialist Dr. Ron Heiniger says that early planted corn is looking good:

“Well, we are. In fact, there are corn plants popping up all over the state, with some producers that have been planting early this. Despite that cold spell we went through about a week ago, looks like that hasn’t much impact, the only places I’ve seen any trouble is where they planted real early got that rain there that came in the weekend before Easter. It came in and had some packing rain there, I’ve seen some stands trying to come through on some crusting. But, other than that this corn looks pretty good, it’s actually been a good year to get planted early, the weather’s been very cooperative with us here.”

With the mild, dry winter, insect pressure on early corn has gotten an early start, as well. Heiniger says there’s a couple of things to be on the watch for:

“Right now I’ve heard of some army worms showing up in the wheat, so farm nothing in the corn crop, and we’re seeing quite a few stink bugs int eh wheat which is a bad omen for the corn crop, because of course, they’re going to move from that wheat into the corn. So, there are some insects already showing up with this mild winter, so that’s something the guys need to be keeping the track on. Right now, particularly that army worm, I’d be scouting and looking for army worm damage on early corn here.”

Heiniger says that even in fields where Bt varieties were planted, scouting for army worms and cut worms is a good idea:

“Main things I worry about in a mild year like this are army worm and cut worm, and I would certainly have the growers doing some scouting for that. We got better tools than we used to have, because these Bt hybrids have some resistance to these pests, so it may be something the guy hasn’t thought about a lot, but with the insect pressure this year, those Bt tools may not take care of the problem.”
NC State Extension Corn Specialist Dr. Ron Heiniger.

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