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Sponsored: Growing Season Stress May Cause Stalk Rot

Stalk rot issues are on the rise across areas of the Corn Belt. As we progress through harvest, growers should scout for any stalk integrity issues.

“We’re seeing a number of corn fields with stalk rot issues,” says Cody Cornelius Mycogen commercial agronomist. “Stalk rot can occur for any number of reasons, including early season stress or even stress throughout the season that caused issues like crown root rot.”

“At this point in the season, stalk rot issues are likely weather induced. Late-season rainfall – especially areas where conditions have been wet for several days with little sunshine or wind – will see the most challenges,” Cornelius add. “Fields with low stalk integrity, any wind storm has the potential to create lodging or down corn.”

Growers who suspect stalk rot should evaluate their harvest timing and consider harvesting compromised fields earlier. A simple pinch or push test can tell a grower if their stalk integrity is low. If the stalk pushes over or snaps, those fields should be moved up in the harvest schedule.

“It’s much easier to bin dry corn than to harvest down corn,” Cornelius says. “At this point, we’re too far into the season to risk losing yield.”

While there’s not much a grower can do to remedy stalk rot issues – other than harvesting those fields sooner – next year, they can look to hybrids with high stalk strength scores or hybrids with strong late-season standability. Visit for more agronomic information.

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