May 1, 2016
The Crop Watch ’16 field isn’t planted yet, but the farmers that are going to plant it have made it into the field. With another stretch or two of good weather, it may go into the ground.
When it does, it will go in right. But despite all that they have done to set it up for a good stand, Mother Nature and her minions, including insects and diseases, may have a say in what the field looks like.
Here are three things to consider as the growing season starts to unfold. After all, this is the purpose of Crop Watch – to get a handle on what could be happening in your field.
1. If the soil temperature retreats, corn may turn yellow
TOO THICK, TOO THIN: This planter row wasn’t dialed in yet, and wasn’t delivering accurate stand placement.
Agronomists say soil temperature is critical. If the temperature dips below 55 degrees F after planting, crop progress will slow down. Scott Gabbard, Shelby County Extension ag educator, took this shot in a field that was in a Purdue trial a couple of years ago. The upside is that it was 2014, and the corn recovered to yield well over 200 bushels per acre.
(Photo courtesy of Scott Gabbard)
2. Big tracks mean soil compaction
This corn isn’t doing too bad so far. If the season turns dry, it may have issues. Gary Steinhardt, Purdue University Extension soils specialist, says 80% of soil compaction’s impact happens on the first pass across the field. How much it affects yield depends upon the weather that follows.
3. Doubles and skips can hurt yield
Perhaps it was the first field and the planter wasn’t dialed in yet. This row showing obvious doubles and skips could set up erratic stand placement that could cause yield loss. You owe it to yourself to keep monitoring planter performance to make sure you don’t wind up with these kinds of stands.
Crop Watch 4/18 - Use common sense on early planting this year
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