Top Factors to Consider Going into Harvest

Sep 24, 2018

Top Factors to Consider Going into Harvest

We had many challenges this year such as too much rain, plant diseases, field variability and more.  It’s important to note these factors as we finish 2018 and access how to improve in 2019.  Here are the top factors to look for as we go into harvest:
Check Leaf Tissue.  Make notes of any lower leaf firing due to moisture or nutrient deficiencies.  Even low to moderate nutrient deficiencies may cause yield reductions and should be noted.  Look for any leaf disease (esp. anthracnose) which may indicate early death/lodging and may cause reduced yield.
Determine Root and Stalk Health.  Dig roots and look for insect feeding, compaction issues, root disease, and overall root health and size.  Cut open stalk and look for crown or stalk rot – be sure to note any corn borer tunneling in stalk.  Walk down row and push plants an arm’s length.  The plant should move back, if it pushes easily and stays, that is a sign of potential root lodge issues.  If the stalk bends and does not come back, this is a sign of potential stalk lodge issues.  Determine % of plants in several areas of field.
Identify Field Variability.  It’s important to note what areas in the field looks better and worse than others.  Are you managing field variability correctly when it comes to plant population, fertility, and management zones?  Look for areas that have high yield potential and show nutrient deficiencies.  Analyze ear tip-back and stalk quality.  These factors may determine whether or not your management practices need to be tweaked in 2019.
Weed Control. What weeds are prevalent in your field (ex. Waterhemp, Giant Ragweed)?  Consider changing management practices such as looking at pre-emerge herbicides, different modes of action, crop rotation, row spacing, and more to provide better control.
Plant Diseases.  Soybean Sudden Death Syndrome and White Mold are diseases that may cause reduced yield in your fields.  Variety selection is one factor in managing disease.  Track your fields performance and how to manage the disease in the future.
Contact your CFS agronomist if you have any questions on your field performance or how to manage your fields in 2019.

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