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What a Difference Nine Days Makes to Young Corn

What a Difference Nine Days Makes to Young Corn

Crop Watch 2014: Turn-around in growth and color is amazing.

Sometimes it's amazing what a little heat and sunshine can accomplish. The Crop Watch '14 field sheds light on how other fields might be reacting. One week ago, the report was that the corn was up, about the two-leaf stage, the stand looked solid, but there was quite a bit of yellowing. Plants were showing signs of greening up.

This week, or exactly nine days apart to be precise, photo shots from the same field don't look anything alike. As they say, put them in a lineup of 100 photos and you would never pick these two as coming from the same field.

Wow! A few days of good weather can change the appearance of a young corn field if the proper nutrients are there, and the stand is established.

What Happened? First, it warmed up considerably. There was rain, but then several days of excellent clear skies and temperatures near or above 80. Second, roots must have reached nutrients. Nitrogen was pre-applied. This week most of the corn is at the four to five leaf growth stage, leaf collar exposed.

The growth point comes above ground somewhere around the five-leaf stage, according to the Purdue University Field Guide. Many plants are now approaching that stage.

Not every field in the area was so lucky. A field less than two miles away planted just before this one was replanted two days before the most recent photo from this field was shot. A combination of exact planting date, rain events, plus agronomic factors likely made the difference.

The only knock on the Crop Watch field is there are still a few spots with some yellow showing. Time will tell how that turned out.

You will have a chance later in the season to guess the final yield for this field. Winners will receive seed from Seed Consultants, Inc. for the 2015 season. Entries won't be due until much later in the season. Watch for more updates here and in the magazine.

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