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Agronomist says stalk quality should be number one concern heading into harvest

A regional agronomy manager says farmers should scout for stalk integrity issues ahead of harvest.

Scott Dickie covers parts of Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri with Beck’s and says stalk quality is a major concern for crops in drought conditions. “In far southeast Nebraska there are a lot of fields already starting to break over, tops are breaking out.  In drought country, that’s what were seeing is just the loss of stalk integrity because of cannibalization.  I know some of the fields I’ve been in in Northeast Kansas, some great yield potential in those fields, but the stalks are going.”  

He tells Brownfield farmers can use the push or pinch test. “What I like to do is push on the plants at ear height and try to touch the tassels to the neighboring rows.  If they are breaking or if I bend down and squeeze on the stalks and they are squishy, those would be fields to harvest more rapidly.”

Dickie says because of the dryness disease and weed pressure were low.

He spoke with Brownfield at 2022 Husker Harvest Days in Grand Island, NE.  

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