Heat Damage to Corn Appears Minimal

When the hot dry weather set in, some corn fields were pollinating. NC State Extension Corn Specialist Dr. Ron Heiniger says the damage isn’t as extensive as was originally thought:

“The mid range planted crop was the one that was most affected, the early corn still looks good. It made it through the heat alright. The later planted corn is now pollinating with some good moisture. What we are seeing on the mid range corn is that some has failed to pollinate completely but its not as bad as one might think. Though it will affect the amount of kernels which will of course impact yield.”

With the uneven weather pattern of late, Heiniger says there’s plenty of insect pressure:

“We are continuing to see aphids in this corn crop which has led to some disease problems. Earworm pressure is starting to build as we get into the later months as well. They seem to be re-emerging with this cooler weather and higher levels of moisture. I expect to see more of the aphids and the earworms as these months progress. The aphids really like hot weather.”

Speaking of sorghum, it’s taken to the hot weather with reckless abandon:

“Some of the early slow growth we saw has all disappeared. We are now seeing that crop really take off. We are just getting to the heading position on most of it, and with the moisture in the air its an ideal time for that. The only problems are with the insects.”

Heiniger says that some of the early-planted corn should be approaching harvest:

“We should be seeing some combines in the fields in another week or two. Some of the late March planted corn, particularly in the southern counties, is coming along fast. In a year like this where we have had hot weather and then rain, it’s a good recipe for the stem disease, so I would recommend that growers be proactive and get in the fields to get the corn.”

Dr. Ron Heiniger, NC State Extension Corn Specialist.

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