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From the Editor

RSS By: Brian Grete, Pro Farmer

Pro Farmer Editor Brian Grete takes time to talk with Pro Farmer Members about some of the key issues in each week's Pro Farmer newsletter.

Weird disease in some Iowa corn

May 25, 2012

Chip Flory

From The Editor

May 25, 2012

Hello Pro Farmer Members!

There are some things we just really hesitate to talk about in the newsletter... and we just "mentioned" one of them in this week's issue to make sure you were all aware of the problem. And we wanted you to know we're hearing about some of the "weird" diseases infecting the 2012 corn crop. The weirdest I've seen is "rootless corn syndrome."

Here's a link to a video shot by Nathan Wells, a Certified Crop Specialist for Agriland FS working in the Washington, Iowa, area that shows what the disease looks like. Nathan says he's finding it "to some degree" in most fields planted the last week of April. Which isn't good... Iowa corn planting progress jumped from 9% as of April 22 to 50% as of April 29.

What I'm still not sure about is how widespread and severe this "rootless" disease is. It's not like the "old days" when "outbreaks" like this would take a couple of weeks to work their way into most crop-watchers' vision. Now an isolated occurrence of a disease can appear to be widespread and/or severe when it's really not. That's due, in part, to the social networking that's connecting farmers in a matter of moments rather than "a couple of weeks."

We're working to confirm just how widespread disease problems are on this young corn crop. Please chime in with your own reports here, but be sure to include: Planting date; identify the disease; where you are located.

Unfortunately, I don't think "rootless" is confined to Nathan's area around Washington, Iowa. I've heard very similar reports out of Story Co., Iowa, in the central part of the state and I've heard a report from north-central Iowa of plant loss of 5% to 25% in various parts of fields the farmer is cultivating.

If we find out how widespread this problem is, we'll be sure to update on But please head out and do some scouting. Even if you don't find any problems, be sure to report back "All clear, (planting date), (location)."

That's it for now...

... Thank you to all the Veterans out there that have protected the freedoms we enjoy in this country and for fighting for the lives we live. God bless you all!

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COMMENTS (1 Comments)

Joan sloneker - Bloomington, IL
The weird corn disease that you describe has the same appearance as corn planted too shallow. The one picture of a corn plant with it's seed attached looks like it was planted only about an inch deep. Roots do not develop when planted too shallow.
9:13 PM May 25th
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