As farmers check the condition of their corn crops moving into the home stretch of production, many are seeing empty ear tips that should be full of kernels.
The reason: tips of corn ears pollinate last and are most susceptible to kernel abortion. Potential culprits include drought stress, nutrient deficiencies, disease, excessive heat, excess populations and even consecutive days of cloudy conditions. Insufficient nitrogen, due to excess moisture, contributed to this problem extensively this year, says Agronomist Bill Bauer, and owner of B & M Consulting, Coldwater, Mich.
While it’s too late to change a lack of nitrogen at this point, Missy Bauer, Farm Journal Associate Field Agronomist, says farmers can test their corn crop next season during silking, at the R1 stage, to determine whether their crop needs additional nutrients to prevent this problem from reoccurring. More information on this issue is available online in the following video.
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