As we approach the reproductive stages of the growing season, there are a few things I would like growers throughout the Corn Belt to consider. We have been extremely fortunate this growing season to have some very good-looking plants at great market prices. All states have had their own unique struggles, but most growers are excited to get combines rolling in the fields.
Here in Indiana, we have had more moisture in July than needed. Beans are sitting in saturated soils which has caused discoloration and lots of yellow-looking beans. No matter what row width you planted this spring, soybeans are a little shorter than usual. When scouting beans, it is noticeably clear to see which fields are tiled and which are not. Although these beans currently appear unsightly, do not give up on these plants. Warm sunny days with dry weather will do these beans a huge favor. Nodulation will reoccur as moisture moves out of the soil, which will allow these soybean plants to green up and grow quickly.
We could not be more satisfied with our corn fields throughout Indiana. While in the middle of the pollination period, we are experiencing cooler nighttime temperatures mixed with warm days; this is a recipe for success. I am a firm believer that we have enough moisture in the soil to carry us throughout the month of August and grain fill. In local fields I have pulled ears with kernels between 16 to 20 around. We need to protect these bushels. When you think about the disease triangle, all the moisture has created ideal conditions for a strong disease environment. We have an attractive host plant, where we have had lots of dew and humidity. The last part to the triangle is the pathogen. We had a mild winter in Indiana, and many pests and disease overwintered in corn stalks and trash. I want to encourage you to scout your fields, especially if you did not rotate your acres. Look for tar spot, northern corn leaf blight, and grey leaf spot. Purdue has reported common rust in the southern counties of Indiana, along with tar spot in Michigan and the northwest counties of Indiana, including Jasper. All of these are yield-robbing diseases which can take 20 to 30 bushels quickly.
Fungicide is best applied at the R3 growth stage on beans when pods begin to form. I would strongly recommend throwing an insecticide in the tank, considering the cost per acre and data behind university trials. Corn responds best to VT/R1 application. Reach out to your local crop protection provider or myself to see what fungicides are labeled for specific types of diseases. I am a strong believer that fungicides do much more for your plants than just boost yield (standability and test weight are just two I would mention).
Be sure to look in the mail for Frontiersmen field day invites. We have great-looking plots and side-by-side trials throughout Indiana and the Midwest. Most plots have new experimental hybrids that I think you should see for yourself. Do not hesitate to contact me or your local Frontiersmen Seed Specialist, to walk fields and learn more about what we can offer for your acres.
Best wishes to all our growers; I hope the harvest season is safe and bountiful for your operation.
Frontiersmen Seed Specialist/Agronomist – Delphi, IN