Drought impacts stalks, disease tolerance & yield

A regional agronomist says corn crop in the central United States is variable as it transitions to its reproductive phase.

Jon Skinner with Beck’s Hybrids works with farmers in Illinois and Iowa. He says the corn crops vary, based on location and rainfall.

“Big portions of Illinois and Iowa are seeing some pretty significant reductions in rainfall amounts, so we’ve got corn that’s shoulder high and tasseling and we’ve got corn that’s V3, V4 right now.”

He says when conditions are dry at this time of the year, plants can struggle to uptake nitrogen and potassium, which can affect stalk strength, disease tolerance, and yield.

“We will start seeing on the lower portion of the canopy, we’ll start seeing those leaf margins start to turn yellow, and in some severe cases brown, and as the potassium deficiency hangs around or looms, it starts to move up the plant.”

He says a nitrogen deficiency looks like an inverse v pattern on the leaf and rainfall is the only solution. Skinner says to scout fields often to be aware of conditions.

He also recommends farmers move forward with their fungicide applications as the crop hits the reproductive stage.

Skinner spoke to Brownfield during the Beck’s Bash event in Columbia, Missouri Thursday.

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