Nematodes are microscopic, worm-like soil organisms. Certain species can be detrimental to the growth and development of corn as well as other crops. While nematodes have typically been of minor importance, they have received more attention in recent years. In the past, insecticides have provided control of key corn pests. Nematodes are now being viewed as a more important yield limiting factor in corn production.
Soil analysis is a great tool to assess what soil amendments are needed for optimum plant function and yield potential. Soil test results list the soil test concentration for specific parameters along with an interpretation value (low, optimum, and high) and a recommendation This Spotlight will help explain the meaning of each soil test parameter, what the optimum values are for each parameter, and general recommendations based on the soil test values.
Challenging growing conditions during the 2012 growing season affected soybean seed size and appearance across much of the Midwest. However, seed appearance does not always equate to potential quality concerns. Seed that looks almost perfect can have poor germination rates while seed that appears flawed may actually be the best seed available. Growers should focus on germination rate and not seed appearance as they place seed orders for the 2013 season.
Yield trial results offer an opportunity to compare corn and soybean products in a geography similar to one’s own farm and can assist growers in selecting quality products for next season. As yield results are examined this fall and winter, keep in mind the following… Interpreting Yield Results
Soybean harvest is underway in many regions and some farmers are reporting fields with symptoms of green stem syndrome. Green stem syndrome occurs when soybean pods and seeds mature but the stem remains green. When producers proceed to harvest according to seed moisture content, the green stems can make for a slow and difficult harvest. However, delaying harvest until the entire plant turns may increase harvest efficiencies, but result in reduced yields due to lower seed moisture and a higher potential for shatter.
The effect of late-season frost on a soybean crop depends upon the growth stage of the soybean plants. Yield losses due to frost are uncommon after soybeans have reached full maturity, the R8 growth stage. Temperatures that range from 30°F to 32°F can easily damage the top leaves on a soybean plant. When air temperatures drop lower than 30°F, the entire soybean plant can be killed.
Even the most superior products do not win every plot. When looking over plot data, one may question why the product with the best average yield across multiple locations, does not have the highest yield at every location, why it does not win every plot, or possibly why its average ranking across multiple locations changes as the harvest season progresses.
With hot, dry weather comes the increased risk of charcoal rot. This fungal disease works opposite the normal crop fungal disease; its presence is most intense during hot, dry conditions rather than moist ones. It infects corn and soybean plants among others, but yield loss is most significant in soybeans.
Purple seed stain and Cercospora leaf blight are caused by the fungus Cercospora kikuchii. Both phases of the disease are favored by wet conditions late in the season. With severe weather in August and September affecting the Southeast U.S. and East Coast, purple seed stain is showing up in soybean growing areas from Louisiana and Mississippi to Missouri….