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Emerging Corn Looks Poor, But Weather is Everything

Corn planting in the Carolinas has really been sluggish this year what with the cool, wet March, and not much better conditions for much of April. NC State Extension Corn Specialist Dr. Ron Heiniger:

“We did get off to a sluggish start. The soils were just cold and wet and didn’t make a good environment to put corn in. Just about 10 days ago we got the good weather and farmers were moving to get corn in. We are still under progress and places like the Piedmont and western Carolina are just getting started.”

As far as emergence goes, Heiniger had these thoughts:

“It reflects the kind of conditions we’ve had. This corn coming up is looking a little pale and a bit of yellowing. That is very common when you are coming out of cool wet soil where it is hard to pick up phosphorus out of the soil.”

Heiniger explains that these less-than-optimum weather conditions are lending opportunity to testing some fertilizer treatments and the like:

“We are hoping that some of the treatments we have been using – like a fertilizer should have helped under these conditions. Hopefully they can tide us over until the weather breaks.”

Heiniger says there’s nothing to be done for poorly looking emerging corn now, it’s simply a weather thing:

“It just takes warm temperatures, that’s what the plant needs. And some drier weather.”

And Heiniger reiterates; however nerve wracking it may be it’s better to wait on the weather than to plant corn into sub-standard conditions. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.