Joe Schubert knows exactly how this year’s corn crop is handling all that rain. “Where the tile lines are, it’s 6 feet tall and tasseling, and in between the tile lines, it’s 4 feet tall and turning yellow,” said Schubert, an agronomic coach at Farm Journal Corn College in Coldwater, Mich.
The situation raises some big question for farmers dealing with those waterlogged fields: Can this crop be saved, and is it worth the money?
It depends, according to Schubert.
“It’s an evaluation of time--how much time we have left, how much growth we have on the plant,” he said. “If the plant’s only 3 feet tall and we’ve already got eight nodes showing, the possibility of that plant making good yield is probably pretty rare, so we’re probably not going to put a lot of money into it. If we’re not seeing as much stress other than just nitrogen and the nodes are still relatively far apart … then I think it’s absolutely worth coming back in and putting some nitrogen on late.”
Listen to Schubert's full remarks here:
If there’s still time to salvage the crop, farmers will need to do a little research to make sure the extra time and money will pay off.
“The big thing to take a look at this year is nitrogen management from parts-per-million going out,” Schubert said. “Find out exactly what’s out in the field (so you know) what you have, what you have to work with (and) the condition of your crop. I’ve spent more time scouting this year than I care to admit to try and devise a plan, but adding more nitrogen to save that crop was going to be a must this year.”
Not every grower will decide adding nitrogen is worth the effort this year.
“I’ve got lot of guys looking at this from the crop insurance standpoint saying ‘Well, if I’m going to collect, this is the year to do it, so I’m not going to put any more money into that crop than I have to,’ Schubert said. “Overall, I think we’re going to have a crop—how big it’s going to be, I don’t know …. (But) guys who are managing nitrogen are going to be above-average crop to bumper crop potential.”
Want to see what else farmers learned at Corn College? Click here for more coverage. For more information on Farm Journal Events, visit www.FarmJournalCollege.com.