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Overcoming weather-related challenges

Photo courtesy of Wyffels Hybrids

Each growing season can present similar and/or different challenges. A Channel technical agronomist talks about those challenges brought on by a warm spring and heavy rains. 

AUDIO: Brian Frischmeyer, Channel

Brian Frischmeyer serves as Channel technical agronomist in southwest Iowa. Frischmeyer notes crop development has exceeded normal pace due to warmer soil temperatures this spring. He adds enhanced growth creates additional challenges.

“The crop is growing rapidly,” Frischmeyer said. “A lot of that growth came from very warm soils, readily available nitrogen and maximum heat units. As that corn crop is elongating and getting ready to set tassel and ear, that’s when green snap can affect the crop.”

Frischmeyer cautions: Snaps below the ear wreak havoc to neighboring plants, which are then restricted of space for growth. He adds green snap is very devastating, with a thousand snapped ears leading to a five to 10 bushel loss.

Additionally, excessive rains in June can lead to nitrogen loss. Frischmeyer says now is the perfect time to consider sidedress nitrogen.

“Over 10 inches of rain in June, and of course, soil temperatures (being) very warm this spring – (in) poorly drained fields, denitrification can be an issue,” Frischmeyer said. “An additional 30 pounds of nitrogen sidedress, or next to the roots, would be a good thing.”

Frischmeyer says fields not impacted by storm damage have tremendous yield potential. He advises such growers to consider a foliar fungicide, which he believes can pay a big dividend.

“I would think about the hybrid you planted and how much stay-green that product generally has in disease pressure,” Frischmeyer said. “If it’s a product that doesn’t have much stay-green, or much intactness, (then) these are the kind of products I see these fungicides really helping.”