This years corn crop looks good and is definitely progressing faster than in either 2013 or 2014. The warm spring that we have had so far this year has allowed for many more Growing Degree Days and as a result the corn crop is progressing quickly.
Here is a snapshot from a Dawson weather station showing the Growing degrees accumulated since March 15th for the last few years:
So what does this mean for local corn growers?
Growers need to keep a close eye on their corn crops and be ready to make applications of both nitrogen and postemergent herbicides before the crop progresses too far. Being late with either of these applications could mean a reduction in yield potential.
Here are some recent comments from UGA Extension Grains Agronomist, Dr. Dewey Lee:
It means that we need to pay much closer attention to the crop in order to be timely with our inputs, particularly, nitrogen applications. If the crop enters into a V6 to V7 stage and is showing signs of nutrient stress, some yield potential will be lost as the plants begin the process of setting the number of rows that will develop on the ear. This occurs between V7 and V8/V9. It takes time for a plant to recover from stress. This year, it’s not unusual for a corn plant to advance one leaf stage in three days. This would mean that in 6 to 7 days, the corn plant can go from a V5/V6 stage to a V7/V8 stage.
If you have any questions about the progression of your corn crop, contact your local county agent for more information.