Agronomy Update 8/10/22
The BIG talk is drought. We are divided into the HAVE and HAVE NOTS. In those dry areas, corn will first start aborting kernels from the tip down. The plants will lose leaves from the bottom up. Fields that are also stressed due to fertility or other problems may see stalk issues as the plant cannibalizes itself. Soybeans can be more forgiving than corn because hey can quickly fill upper nodes with new flowers and pods. This article from ISU dives deeper into the effects of drought on the crops.
One crop pest that LOVES dry weather is spider mites. There are some reports from IA, MN, and NE of spider mite populations. If you see an area (especially edge) of the field that is off color, kind of droughty looking, but not in an area of the field where you have a light spot it may be worth checking for spider mites. Spider Mite Identification
For the growers that did catch rain, you may be surprised to see some flashing in your soybean fields. It may be SDS. SDS infection happens way back at planting time when the seed is first starting to germinate, we just see visual symptoms later. A period of hot, dry weather like what we had last week can cause toxins from the disease to build up in the plants. Catching a large rain like over the weekend can cause the toxin to be flushed through the system and lead to
There have been a few reports of common smut in corn fields in west central Iowa. Generally we do not view this as a yield limiting disease in field corn. Sweet corn lines are much more susceptible. Spores survive in the soil and are wind or water transported onto corn plants. They inflect through unpollinated silks or wounds in the plant from wind/hail/sandblasting. Infected tissues grow into galls, sometimes as large as 5 inches in diameter. There is not really a treatment for common smut in field corn. More information can be found here
Corn Rootworm pressure is very high this year! When looking to choose traits or management practices for next year there are some specific questions to think about when dealing with CRW. Check out this
quick one page checklist and see how it fits your operation.
We all pretty much know this but the numbers are still very interesting. nonirrigated cropland in the central plains is up 20%. This article from UNL breaks out increases by state and also talks about regional interest rates from ag loans. Some areas saw a 2.2% interest rate increase. Thats a whole lot of money on expensive ground! https://cap.unl.edu/land/cropland-values-central-us-show-strength-2022