Moist soil and seed trenches that are sealed and firmed are critical to proper corn development, as Farm Journal field agronomist Ken Ferrie demonstrates in Corn College TV Season 3.
"We can run into problems with what’s called rootless corn syndrome when we don’t have an environment for the crown root to develop," Ferrie says. "In this case, the seed was planted into moisture and it emerged OK, but the slot was left open. These first sets of crown roots that come out, they don’t grow into air very well and they don’t grow into dry soil. So they come out and they nub off. So the first one nubbed off, the second, the third."
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Working around possible obstacles such as tough cover-crop residue can ensure your planter gets the job done right. At the same time, weather matters.
"We can eliminate some of this by how much tail pressure we put on the corn planter to try to tuck this thing in tight," he says. "But when we’re planting in bug dust, like we were here, it’s so dry that probably the only way we can stop this from taking place is we’re to have to have some type of rainfall here in the next 10 days to reset this soil and get some moisture there to set those roots."
Learn more in Episode 2 of Corn College TV Season 3: