Heat challenging corn crop whether the feet are wet or dry

posted on Monday, July 22, 2019 in Current News

A check with Purdue Extension corn specialist, King Corn Bob Nielsen, confirms the 2019 season isn’t producing the king of all corn crops, and now the crop is facing intense hot weather. Dr. Nielsen says this heat will impact dry areas of the state and those locations which benefited from rain this week.

“While we don’t have a huge percentage of the state’s crop in pollination now, we still have a fair amount that’s now coming into pollination, and certainly even if you have adequate moisture, that kind of high heat is really hard for that corn crop to keep up with in terms of transpiration and keeping water into that plant,” he told HAT. “So, those are the fields I’d worry about over the next few days, the ones that are pollinating, because it could interfere with the success of that pollination and establishing those kernels.”

On a more hopeful note, Nielsen said walking fields in most parts of the state the last couple of weeks has not revealed much in the way of pests and disease.

“Knock on wood but I have yet to see fields with any significant disease pressure, and I’ve yet to see fields that have had any significant insect problem, either Japanese beetle or rootworm or even the western bean cutworms. So, in the perspective I guess I’m reasonably optimistic that from the pest perspective it appears to me that statewide we’re still in pretty good shape. I’ve heard reports of southern rust in southwest Indiana. I’ve heard reports from Benton County, Newton County of pretty high populations of Japanese beetle.”

Western bean cutworm moth numbers did jump last week, and when he ignores problems like wet feet and compaction, Nielsen is pretty pleased at the general health of corn plants.