From the Field 7-14-2020

The first week of July has brought us some strong storms with some well-needed rain, and with these storms I have seen some lodged corn. In most cases the corn is trying to straighten back up, but I have come across a few plants that have green snapped. It’s getting close to the start of applying aerial corn fungicides, and I’m seeing fields with a wide range of crop development.

A few fields started showing tassels last week and may not finish for another ten days. With the uneven tassel and silk emergence, I would recommend monitoring rootworm beetle activity. The rootworm beetle can be very mobile, and when it moves to these late pollinating plants, it can cause silk clipping. I am seeing a few Japanese beetles in the soybean fields, but nothing close to threshold levels. However, the potato leafhopper pressure in alfalfa is as bad I have seen in years. The leafhopper pierces the leaf and sucks the sap from the plant, causing it to turn yellow. This is referred to as hopperburn. With the right weather conditions we can see several generations of this pest. I am recommending to spray once regrowth has started.

With heat, heat, and more heat—and a good drink of water—corn was able to really kick it into gear. After the slow start in the spring, the summer heat wave gave us an abundance of GDU’S and now we are ahead of the norm. As I drive around the countryside, I see a lot of great corn growing. Each field holds the potential for high yield, so let’s protect those bushels.