Agronomist says no need to switch hybrids – yet

An agronomist says corn fields in the Eastern Corn Belt are a mixed bag following several days of cooler, wet temperatures.

Matt Hutcheson with Ohio-based Seed Consultants says now is the time for farmers to walk their fields and assess corn stands.  “In some situations we’ve seen stands that are okay,” he says.  “In others there has just been too much rain and they have to replant.  In other situations I think the seedlings are okay and still developing, but the heavy rains created a crust on top.”

He tells Brownfield the crusted topsoil could cause emergence issues.

Hutcheson says for growers who have to replant and those who haven’t started planting yet – there has been talk about switching to an earlier maturing hybrids.

He says – not so fast.  “The corn hybrids can lower the amount of Growing Degree Days required to maturity when they’re planted late,” he says.  “Which could be as much as 200 Growing Degree Days less required if they’re planted mid-May to the end of May versus the end of April.”

Hutcheson says corn specialist don’t typically recommend switching hybrids until the end of May for the Eastern Corn Belt, which he says is the case for northern Indiana, Ohio, and into Michigan.  But, he says, farmers in the central parts of Indiana and Ohio could continue to plant normal maturing hybrids until the first part of June.

AUDIO: Matt Hutcheson, Seed Consultants

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