Note: Crop Watch appears on Monday this week, however its regular day will be Tuesdays each week starting June 11.
Welcome back to Crop Watch, this time it's Crop Watch 2013. You will find a new report on the field we're following here every week. The field is in the Eastern Corn Belt, and the idea is to give you a chance to see what problems are cropping up, or not cropping up, that could help you take what you learn to your scouting process.
It's also a vessel for a harvest contest sponsored by Seed Consultants, Inc. Follow these weekly reports and stories in the magazine, and later you'll find an entry form to guess the yield of the field. Those with the closest guess will win free seed!
One year ago Dave Nanda, director of genetics and technology for Seed Consultants, Inc., reported this very week that the table was set for 200 bushels per acre in the contest field. The stand was good, the corn was planted in late April, and everything seemed a 'go'!
Then the drought and heat hit, and the wheels fell off. The field averaged 55 bushels per acre. There's hope to believe that won't happen again. For one thing the soil in this year's field is naturally somewhat poorly to poorly drained. Some tiling is installed in the field, but not pattern tiling. So far rainfall has been about how you would dial it in.
Sidedress nitrogen has been applied, and weeds are under control. The corn is at the V4 stage, and is planted at a population above 30,000 per acre. The stand is uniform. There are some doubles and a few triples, but very few skips. Overall, the plant spacing would likely rate out at a level at which Bob Nielsen, Purdue University Extension corn specialist, would not suggest any yield loss due to spacing.
So here we go again. Tune in again next week to see if there are any changes.