“Saved by the Scouts” is our weekly crop report, highlighting the observations of our crop scouts. This week, our crop scouts saw positive growth with beginning heat stress. Tune in to our blog or social media each week to see the latest crop conditions for our territory. We are excited to see this growing season progress and hope you find the information to be beneficial.
Corn is in stages V5-V7, and the canopy between rows is closing. Soybeans are in stages V2-V4 across our territory.
Most weeds were minimal and responding well to herbicide treatment. The most common weeds found this week were redroot pigweed, volunteer corn, and common milkweed.
Our recent dry conditions are beginning to take a toll on our crops. Corn leaves have begun to roll up, which is the plant’s way of protecting itself from the lack of moisture and heat. Not only does this rolling motion provide less leaf surface area for the suns rays to touch, it also helps hold in the plant moisture that is already within the plant.
According to Weather Underground, this year we’ve had 11 more Growing Degree Days than we did at this time last year, and the heat has helped above-ground growth tremendously. Meanwhile, below ground growth on the roots has not been able to keep up, causing the roots to fall behind in mass. With time, this issue will correct itself. For now, be on the lookout for nutrient deficiencies as we are seeing several cases of roots not being able to reach the nutrient source in the soil yet. As the root mass gets larger, this will correct itself.
While we hope for more rain to arrive, storm damage such as wind or hail may also come. This damage, as well as any stress, can cause the plant to break down, making it more susceptible to disease. When disease symptoms start to show, it’s often too late and yield is already affected. A good precaution is to apply fungicide before the problem is seen and becomes devastating.
Our sprayers are wrapping up with herbicide applications in corn. Next week, our attention will be focused on managing weed issues in soybean fields before those canopies start to close as well.
Keep an eye out for nutrient deficiencies, especially with the root systems falling behind in growth.
Additionally, bean leaf beetles have been defoliating soybean leaves. Make sure conditions do not become too severe. Although we have not seen any Japanese beetles yet, we encourage you to be on the lookout for them as well, as they were a major insect issue in our territory last year.