Corn Standability and Harvestability

Published on: 13:02PM Sep 17, 2010

Eric Tedford

What is your worst corn growing nightmare? Is it a potentially successful growing season marred by stalk rots, diseases, stalk lodging and reduced harvestability? Even though approximately 20 to 30 percent of the corn acres in America can be affected by these problems each year, there is a tool that may spare you this headache.
Strobilurin fungicides were designed to give crops superior protection and curative abilities against a wide array of yield-robbing diseases. Since the introduction of azoxystrobin, other benefits from this fungicide have been noticed, among those are improved stalk standability. 
Alison Robertson, a plant pathologist at Iowa State University, said that improved standability absolutely leads to a more efficient and easier harvest. Stalk standability is determined by root strength, stalk strength and overall plant quality 
Fallen, or lodged, stalks make harvesting much more difficult and reduce yields. Combines must slow down considerably to pick up downed ears, reducing harvest efficiency and speed. Robertson also pointed out that fallen stalks have ears in close contact to the ground. This increases the chances of ear rots so the grain you do manage to collect is often of a lower quality.
An added benefit from your strobilurin fungicide application you can look forward to is not having to deal with those stalk issues. Strobilurin fungicides work hard to improve the performance of your plants through greater green leaf area and better photosynthesis, and increased water use efficiency. These physiological benefits, combined with the proven broad spectrum disease control strobilurins provide, will allow you to look forward to a harvest with fewer lodged corn stalks and downed ears as well as increased efficiency.
What are you expecting for your harvest this year?