The full foliage on the trees in the background indicates it’s nearly summer. This farmer was planting corn during the first week of June.
Some farmers finally planted even though the ground was wetter than they liked. The open seed slots in places are a telltale sign that the soil was still heavy, but the calendar was ticking.
Dave Nanda, director of genetics for Seed Genetics-Direct, examines roots on a seedling that struggled to emerge through compacted layers. Fortunately, most seedlings in this field emerged properly.
FIND THE HOLES
Fields that looked good on the outside didn’t always look as good on the inside. Bryan Overstreet, Extension ag educator in Jasper County, Ind., found holes in this field while flying his drone in early July.
GOOD CORN … BUT
This is a good stand and the corn is healthy, but it’s running about a month late by today’s standards. This picture was taken around July 1, not June 1. Nevertheless, this field still yielded nearly 200 bushels per acre.
Drought stress showed up on this gravelly knoll in this field during a dry spell in late July. The shorter corn was planted 11 days behind the corn tasseling in the background. Who says timing isn’t everything?
UGLIER CORN … BUT
It’s July 2, and this field won’t see knee-high for another 10 days — and that’s if it greens up. As it turns out, it did green up once nitrogen was applied; nitrogen wasn’t applied early on this field. The crop recovered and reached maturity before frost.
WHERE ARE THE TASSELS?
It’s July 25, and this corn hasn’t tasseled yet. It was planted June 1. Pete Illingworth, a Throckmorton-Purdue Ag Center employee, takes stand counts in this field.
THE UGLIEST CORN!
Nothing is much uglier or more disappointing to find than a ball of smut where an ear should be on a corn plant. Dave Nanda says smut was more common this year, likely due to saturated soils and ponding early in the season. It was too scattered to affect yield.
SLOW TO MATURE
It’s late August, but the shine coming off these kernels indicates black layer is still a long way off. Nanda noted that these kernels were barely moving into the dough stage from the milk stage. It was mid-October before some ears in this field reached black layer, but they still beat a killing freeze.
Nathan Bush holds two ears of corn on Sept. 26. Bush is an agronomist with Greene Ag Consulting, Franklin, Ind. Believe it or not, this corn is from the same field that was yellow and not even close to knee-high by the Fourth of July (see previous “Uglier corn … but” photo). The larger ear was from a stalk growing by itself, but the smaller, still respectable ear was from a row within the field.
It’s now Oct. 23, and this corn is from the same field that hadn’t tasseled yet at the Throckmorton-Purdue Ag Center on July 25 (see previous “Where are the tassels?” photo). Two hybrids were harvested. Grain moisture averaged just over 24%, but dry yield averaged more than 200 bushels per acre. There was no stalk rot, and lodging was only 0.5%, virtually none. Yield loss measured using standard methods averaged well under a bushel per acre.