Menu

Test for Corn Stalk Strength by Getting Pushy With Your Crop

The 2014 crop season had its fair share of severe weather across southwest Michigan. Heavy thunderstorm winds in combination with driving rainfall caused severe lodging in many corn fields in the southern two tiers of counties across Michigan in both the mid- and later vegetative growth stages. While nearly every field that was impacted by these storms was able to get the crop growing in the right direction again, there is a good possibility that these fields will be susceptible to lodging if windy weather becomes a challenge this harvest season. Many of the plants have large, curving “goosenecks” just above the root-line. They are also supporting some pretty nice ears, thanks to the favorable growing conditions we saw this season.

One of things Michigan State University Extension recommends growers can do while we are waiting for a return to dry weather is to get out and evaluate their fields for stalk strength, particularly fields that have significant goosenecked stalks. The test is pretty simple. Walk down some random rows and push on a significant number of plants and see how many of the plants fall over. Growers should look at a significant number of plants in several locations of the field to be able to calculate a percentage of stalks that are prone to lodging.

Goosenecked stalks are not the only potential issue impacting stalk strength out in the fields this fall. Leaf diseases, particularly gray leaf spot and northern corn leaf blight, were fairly common in fields across the region in 2014. We also had a tremendous amount of fields that exhibited nitrogen deficiency symptoms due to leaching or denitrification losses of N across the region this year. Both of these conditions can lead to excess scavenging of carbohydrates from the stalks to provide for the developing kernels. Anytime this happens there is a good chance that stalk strength will be compromised, and in either case, a simple push on the plants about ear height can help growers to determine the stalks ability to withstand wind. Knowing stalk strength can help producers to prioritize fields that need to be harvested earlier rather than later.

Source: Michigan State University Extension 

Recent News

Expected Payments on ARC-CO and PLC
1/23/2020

After the release of the January WASDE report, the Gardner ARC/PLC Payment Calculator was updated to reflect revised price information for the 2019 and 2020 years. Herein updated estimates of Agricultural Risk Coverage at the County Level (ARC-CO) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) are presented for corn, soybeans, and wheat. Overall, PLC payments in 2019 are not […]

Managing Stored Grain Through Winter
1/23/2020

Managing stored grain throughout the winter is an important part of your grain marketing plan for farm profitability. This winter we are already receiving reports of stored grain going out of condition, which can lower the¬†value and be a hazard to those working around the grain facility. At a minimum, stored grain that has gone […]

Two Trade Deals and a Price Drop
1/22/2020

The signing of the Phase 1 trade deal with China and approval in the Senate of the USMCA last week saw two positive developments on the trade front.  Despite some resolution on these trade issues, markets reacted negatively.  The USMCA, while providing stability with two major trading partners, held limited short-term upside potential for corn […]

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now