Corn Update By: Reagan Noland & Corn Disease Update By: Bob Kemerait
Saturated soil + High winds = Chances of lodging
We have had multiple reports of corn lodging in East Georgia (particularly Screven County). Here are some things to consider:
How mature is the corn? In the early- to mid-vegetative stages, corn has a greater chance of “goose-necking” back up with no major issues.
How severe is the lodging/damage? If the stalks are actually broken, they will not regrow. If they are only bent over, even at a hard angle, they have a good chance of standing back up. Keep in mind that the goal is effective tasseling and ear formation high enough above the ground. In many cases, all we can do right now is wait and see how the crop responds in the next couple weeks. We need to be vigilant of diseases right now anyway, but note that lodged wet fields will likely increase the risk of foliar disease issues.
Infiltration is slow or completely lacking in saturated soil
Consider drier, sunny conditions. Under these better conditions, an in-season fertilizer application will move readily into the soil with a little water, and the heat and solar radiation will drive transpiration for rapid water/nutrient uptake. Unfortunately, this is not the case right now.
When the soil profile is saturated, fertilizer applications will not return rapid visual results. This is not to say that we should forego application if a deficiency is measured in time for remediation, but please keep this in mind. Everything is moving slowly right now.
Corn Disease Update:
Corn and southern corn rust: We have NOT found southern corn rust in Georgia yet, but conditions are NEAR-PERFECT (tropical storm dumping rain, some of the crop approaching tassel, growers and scouts out of field). Why only “near-perfect”?? It has been cooler as of late and cooler seems to hinder development and spread of southern rust. We often find southern rust in early June in our scouting program, so I expect we will find it soon. What to do: Because we have not found southern rust yet in our corn crop, I am not recommending that all growers with corn at tassel stage (or soon to be) spray with a fungicide. However, all growers should be aware of current risk AND they should pay attention to your alerts. Some growers may feel the opportunity of disease is here NOW and go ahead and spray their crop. Nothing wrong with that. But I think growers who wait carefully are also making a good decision, at least for now.