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Corn Watch: Many fields are looking better, but it hasn’t been a banner year so far.

Tom J Bechman 1, Editor, Indiana Prairie Farmer

July 3, 2017

2 Min Read
YOUR FIELD COULD BE WORSE IF … It wasn’t even harvested from last year! This field in Indiana was spotted in mid-June.

At one point in early June, Indiana’s corn crop was rated as being in the poorest condition of any of the major corn-growing states. Ohio was rated just above it. Illinois and Michigan were in somewhat better shape.

Maybe your fields contributed to the low rating. Too much rain, too may wet pockets, too long to dry out — the reasons for problems in the cornfield this spring are infinite.

The grower who farms the Corn Watch ’17 field isn’t thrilled with it, so to make him feel better, here is a “top 10” list of how it could be worse. These are based on real observations, believe it or not.

10. You planted June 8 instead of April 20. The Corn Watch ’17 field was planted in April. Some fields were planted as late as June.

9. Corn is knee-high by the Fourth of July. Most people think this old saying expired about 50 years ago. Corn today is typically ready to tassel by July Fourth. However, this year there will be some fields only knee-high by the Fourth of July — depending on how high your knees are!

8. Ducks were still landing in wet holes in June. Normally these critters hang around retention ponds or other waterways by late spring. This year some took up permanent residence in some cornfields with built-in “lakes” — low spots stubborn to dry out.

7. Spots were replanted three times. Maybe an acre out of 80 in the Corn Watch ’17 field was replanted twice.

6. Even after replanting the replant, water filled potholes. Heavy rains in mid-June replenished wet holes that had just dried out.

5. Insects add insult to injury. Who says bugs like cutworms and wireworms don’t cause yield damage anymore? One field was so thin after insect damage that a rabbit could run across it without ever needing to swerve.

4. You dig plants, and cubes of soil come up with the roots. You didn’t even have to work ground wet to see this phenomenon this year. After about half a dozen pounding rains, soils exhibit all the qualities of concrete.

3. Nitrogen didn’t hang around in low spots. If the first, second or third time a low area flooded didn’t take the nitrogen with it, the fourth time did. By then, temperatures were toasty and N wasn’t sticking around.

2. The field of sticks after the intense hailstorm is yours. Enough hail coming down hard enough and fast enough can turn a field of waist-high corn into sticks in a matter of minutes.

And the No. 1 way someone else’s field could be worse than yours … drumroll, please!

1. It still has corn standing, sort of, from last year’s crop. One large field of corn that was never harvested was seen in mid-June. See the picture above if you don’t believe it.

And you thought your corn had problems!

Corn Watch ’17 is sponsored by Seed Genetics-Direct, Washington Court House, Ohio.

About the Author(s)

Tom J Bechman 1

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farmer

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