Our corn crop continues to look really good. That is not a real scientific assessment, but it is true. Our corn crop has not really been stressed all year long. The biggest stress it has had is the cool weather – and in my mind – it has not been that cool.
This season reminds me a lot of 1992. The growing season of 1992 had early planting date, a mild June and very cool August. We had good crop yields in 1992. The soybeans did well in 1992 also – in spite of dire predictions of low soybean yields. There were all kinds of predictions of low soybean yields that year along with the assessments like ‘soybeans shut down when temperatures are below 50 degrees and it takes three days for them to recover’. Those predictions proved untrue and soybeans yielded just fine.
The biggest problem in 1992 was a large and wet corn crop. It was not terribly wet – in my mind- but multiplied by good yields – it was problem- (although a good problem).
This year, as in 1992, I am not sure the corn crop is as far behind as the growing degree days would have you believe. I have seen a 97 day hybrid planted on April 23 with some kernels starting to dent. Sure, that is an early hybrid planted early, but that does equate to about a September 25 maturity date. A September 25 maturity date is not that early, but it is about normal. Since most farmers finished planting corn by May 10 (or much earlier) and most of the corn anymore is a 103 day hybrid or earlier maturity, maturity and drydown should not be a problem this year.
Soybean. Soybean development also appears to going well. I see soybeans that are in the R6 stage. The R6 stage is when there is a soybean seed that completely fills the pod cavity in one of the top four nodes of the plant. I see a lot of soybeans that are just starting this stage. The ‘book’ says that it should take about 18 days for these soybeans to reach the R7 stage. The R7 stage is when the soybean plants start to turn yellow. Also, the R7 stage would be considered pretty much safe from frost damage.
We have seen some Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) in the area. So far, as in past years, this SDS problem is mostly curiosity in my geographic area. I am guessing that it is developing late enough that there will not be a lot of impact on grain yield. Check your fields for this disease. If you see some premature yellowing and/or death of soybeans in your fields, this could be a problem. See ICM news for some further info on SDS.