Observations From the Field
Field visits was a top priority this week including United Prairie hybrid/variety trials to check crop development. One quick observation is corn stands are phenomenal most everywhere checked. Growth stages range from 2-4 leaf collars and as a side note, nitrogen side-dress units are poised to roll once field conditions are fit. At this stage, corn seedlings will be transitioning from the kernel reserves and “seed roots” to the nodal roots or “permanent roots”. This can typically be a time of tough looking corn as varying temperatures, wheel compaction, extended periods of cloudy weather can really create a general sour look to corn plants including areas of distinctively different corn heights. Fortunately, most of our regions corn got off to a very good start under warmer than normal conditions and stand uniformity looks very good overall.
Purple Corn: This brings me to our recent turn to cooler temperatures we experienced this week. There is a good chance we will see areas of “purple” corn (anthocyanin pigments). This phenomena is most often triggered by bright sunny days followed by cool nights. The logic is plants produce a lot of photosynthate during warm days, but low rates of photosynthate metabolism during cool nights can result in high concentrations of sugary photosynthates in the leaves. Anthocyanin occurs in the form of a sugar containing glucoside…high concentrations of which can create the pigment formation in plant leaves. This is a temporary condition and with a return to warmer temperatures plants will rapidly green back up. In case there is more going on than just cool temperatures, be sure to always carefully check root systems for any abnormal growth. Contact your Sales Agronomist for more assistance.
Soybeans-PPO: There was no break between planting corn and soybeans this year. Weather and soil conditions were good and many of our soybeans acres were planted the latter part of April through the first week of May directly following the completion of corn planting. Recent cooler, wet weather as experienced this past week was not exactly ideal for soybean emergence and we have had reports of potential herbicide damage resulting from the PPO-inhibiting Class of products. This is not a common occurrence yet it can occur under poor growing conditions. Typically actively growing plants rapidly metabolize the herbicide. If you see symptoms such as seen in the photo allow 3-5 days before checking again as most plants will grow out of this injury with no yield loss. In our efforts to combat weed resistance to specific herbicide classes more chemistries are being utilized to keep fields weed-free. This involves utilizing a variety of soil residual herbicide products combined with post applied herbicides. The PPO family of herbicides is a very important player in this initiative.
Don’t hesitate to contact me should you have any questions or observations you would like to share. We are off to a great start!