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Start paying attention to signs of leaf diseases in corn

Start paying attention to signs of leaf diseases in corn
Summer Scouting Report: Conditions have been favorable for certain corn diseases.

Stick to the basics in scouting right now. That includes wrapping up weed control, beginning to scout for corn diseases, and making final decisions on double-crop soybean planting and management. Here are three areas to concentrate on this week.

1. Weed control issues still remain.

CATCH DISEASE EARLY: Watch for signs of disease lesions showing up on corn leaves.

Many areas are receiving too much rain, and others are not getting enough for this time of year. This can make weed control even more difficult. Be sure to scout fields before you spray to check weed species and weed height. You may need to modify rates, adjuvants or even the products you planned to use. Also be sure to check crop growth stage and compare that to label restrictions. In corn, be sure you’re paying attention to growth stage and not just plant height.

2. Corn leaf diseases could show up now.

The high heat and humidity the last few weeks have brought on some early leaf diseases in corn. As I have walked fields, I've been surprised to see some diseases showing up on the early planted corn that is now V10 to V12. Pay close attention to hybrids that are susceptible to gray leaf spot and northern corn leaf blight. You want to wait until tassel to spray, so these fields may be the first to be sprayed, if needed.

3. Think about soybean planting and double-crop soybean issues.

A few people are wrapping up first-crop soybeans, while others are still considering planting double-crop soybeans. This time of year, you want to plant deep enough to make sure the soybean is in moisture. For some, that will not be a problem this year! Also, as it gets later in the season, be sure to increase planting population to get more height out of the plants before they start to flower. This will also get the crop to canopy more quickly to help with weed control. 

Gauck is a team sales agronomist for Beck’s. He writes from Decatur County.

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