Soil crusting can damage corn trying to emerge from beneath the surface.
Farmers who recently planted corn and soybeans should be on the lookout for crusting soil, which can prevent proper corn and soybean emergence. Here’s a look at several recommendations for identifying and managing crust when you see it.
Recently planted fields that have experienced significant rain and subsequent drying can be at risk, Iowa State University Extension says. Other factors that contribute to crusting include intensive tilling and limited residue cover. As a result, uneven crop emergence can occur.
Several Nebraska ag specialists are reporting crusting issues via Twitter.
"Watch out for crusting soil surfaces," writes Samuel Schmidt, crop consultant, Servi-Tech, Inc. in Oakland, Neb. "A two leaf delay on 50% of the stand can result in a 17% yield loss."
As crusting begins, growers are using water as one solution.
"As #plant13 winds down, #irrigation13 begins," writes Nate Carlson, Pioneer seed salesman, Johnson Sales and Service in Ong, Neb. "Soil crusting forcing growers to water early."
Other tools for addressing crusting can include: