Early Southeastern Corn Continues to Suffer

It would appear the struggles of this year’s corn crop aren’t over, even though it’s warmed up, the weather is still very wet. Dr. David H. Hardy, NCDA Agronomic Division, Seed & Soil Testing:

“The weather has been a problem this year. Early planted corn experienced some very low temperatures at night and during the day and there has been quite a bit of wetness.”

Hardy explains that the combination of cool temperatures and precipitation have created a couple of nutrient deficiencies in corn:

“With weather stress we may see phosphorus uptake problems in the plant with poor root growth. With rainfall and sandier soils we can also see sulfur loss from the tops soil where roots have not grown down deep enough.”

Hardy offers this first step to diagnosing the problem:

“First, don’t guess at a problem. Taking tissue samples is very important to actually trouble shoot, along with soil samples. Growers should look at good and bad areas to determine the problem.”

But, Hardy says the problems could correct themselves with a little cooperation from Mother Nature:

“With the warmer weather recently, the rain fall is still an issue with sulfur mobility and possibly nitrogen mobility in soils. But certainly the warming trend looks nice.”

But, there’s still rain in the forecast:

“There is nothing we can do besides monitor the crop. Taking tissue samples is very important. They can help if they have questions about nitrogen or sulfur.”

The good thing says Hardy, is that turnaround time at NCDA’s agronomics lab is very short:

“Tissue samples are normally 2-3 days. Soil samples are 3-4 days.”

Hardy had one final piece of advice:

“We have regional agronomists from our field services staff that are there to help in taking samples and trouble shoot problems.”

For a complete list of NCDA’s area agronomist click here.

Dr. David Hardy with the NCDA Agronomy Lab

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