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8 early-season corn crop concerns
It's shaping up to be another spring of unique crop challenges. Though farmers have the majority of the corn crop planted, a shift to predominantly cool, damp weather has concerns like soil nutrients and pest pressures rising. See some of the latest on early progress and learn about a few things that could raise anxiety for this year's crop.
And, the rain that's been delaying planting progress in much of the Corn Belt over the last few days is doing more than that. It's raising concerns about soil erosion and the effects it could have on crop output potential. See some of the dangers to look out for in eroded fields.
But, even if you did beat out this latest wet, cool spell, it doesn't mean your crop is home-free. In fact, some of that earlier-planted corn could be in trouble. In the least, that may just be in the form of slower development from a lack of growing degree days (GDDs). What else could be endangering early-planted corn?
One specific area of concern this spring is in fall-applied nutrients. Are they still in your soil, or have they long since nitrified? One specialist says the combination of early warmth and subsequent damp conditions could mean your nutrient profile may be a little lacking. See what to look for here.
Regardless of when you planted and how ideal conditions may have been when you did so, you still may be facing the necessity of replanting. But, make sure your earlier-planted corn is down for the count first, experts say. Here are a few factors to consider when replanting corn.
Another issue some see could be a big one for this year's crop is herbicide-resistant weed pressures. It's inevitable to have a resistant weed here or there, but when you've got a widespread challenge, it's an altogether different matter. Here are some tips to try to keep resistance at bay.
Though corn and soybean prices have been trending higher lately, that doesn't mean it's all gravy. Farmers say they're still facing rising crop input costs that are taking the top off the recent higher prices, making for little difference in relative profit. What are you seeing?
But, with those higher prices, would it be more worthwhile to double up your crops? In some areas, wheat farmers who haven't in the past may have the potential to double-crop with soybeans, sorghum or another crop because of early wheat harvest timeframes. Is it worth it this year? See what other farmers are saying.
How else can you help get your crop off to a good start? Here are a few key things to keep in mind as you get your crop started out in the right direction.
Take care of your young corn crop by keeping these factors & variables in mind.