How are your corn fields progressing? What about your neighbor's? With the extremely volatile corn market, crop conditions across the country are just as important as the status of your own fields. Read and see how the corn crop is looking in Missouri, Texas, Nebraska and Tennessee.
Missouri: Uneven Growth
Cornfields in Missouri are mostly uneven, according to Bill Wiebold, University of Missouri Extension agronomist. "In general, the corn crop is just not uniform,” he says. "There is amazing variability, more than I've ever seen.”
Wiebold says most corn planting in Missouri was delayed due to an extremely wet spring. The rainfall that followed planting created ponding and flooding is many fields, which encouraged the non-uniform growth.
He says some corn is completely gone after flooding around the Mississippi River. Other fields show evident root damage, resulting from compaction.
"Significant acreage has been impacted,” he says. "These fields will not reach their full yield potential.”
The extensive rainfall also washed away a lot of nitrogen, Wiebold says, which is starting to show. He says farmers can assess the N loss, but the options are closing. "There's just not a lot you can do right now,” he says.
Texas: Waiting on the Rain
"The corn looks good, but its requiring lots of water,” says Brent Bean, professor and extension agronomist at Texas A&M University. He says the crop is entering the critical time, where it could really use some rain.
As typical with Texas in July, the weather has been hot and dry. Bean says some of the corn is stressing due to the lack of water. But overall, the crop is in good shape, considering the intense temperatures.
"Since we irrigate, it insulates us from the weather.”
Bean says he gauges the corn crop to be about a week or 10 days behind in progress.
Nebraska: Recovering Corn
Tamra Jackson, University of Nebraska-Lincoln professor of plant pathology, says Nebraska corn is looking a lot better now, compared to a few weeks ago.
"The corn is trying to catch up,” she says. "Things are moving really fast right now.”
Jackson says much of the corn in Nebraska was planted at a later date, due to weather issues. She says that corn condition was looking really poor for awhile.
The less-than-favorable weather is continuing to create problems. Jackson says the high humidity and continued wetness promotes foliar diseases. "Late-season diseases are worse on late-planted corn,” she says.
She says producers who only apply fungicides or pesticides once during the growing season, may want to hold off on the application. She says more diseases and pests could surface as the season progresses.
Tennessee: Weather Extremes
Angela Thompson, corn and soybean specialist at The University of Tennessee, says her state saw abundant rain early in the season, which delayed corn planting. But, seeing rain clouds roll in now would be welcomed.
"We certainly need more rain,” she says. "We've had some spotty rain this week, which will help the corn.”
The late-planted corn, Thompson says, is looking rough. She says some is showing rolling and twisting leaves.
Disease and pest pressure has been pretty low, so far, she says, but that could easily change. "Pests and diseases are more likely to be a problem on the late-planted corn, later in the season,” Thompson says.
Thompson says every growing season has its challenges, but the weather has really caused problems this year. Her advice for farmers: Hope for a little more rain and a late frost.
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You can e-mail Sara Muri at email@example.com
Photo credits: Missouri - Bill Wiebold, Nebraska - Dave Nielsen