November 30, 2022

Good corn crop looks to finish strong

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — A good — not great — corn crop in central and southern Indiana should finish strong, but concerns about late-season disease pressure are top of mind for some producers.

“Overall, I’d say our corn crop looks pretty good. It’s not going to be as good as last year, but last year might have been the best crop we’ve ever had in southern Indiana as a whole,” said Jordan Arndell, DEKALB Asgrow technical agronomist for southern Indiana and Kentucky.

Arndell’s territory covers from Indianapolis south to the Ohio River.

One concern that continues to nag some growers is whether they should make a late-season fungicide application to control later-occurring tar spot and southern rust.

Arndell cautioned that there are some big questions for farmers to answer when making that decision, with harvest in some portions of central and southern Indiana ready to start in mid-September.

“When do you want to start your harvest? And how hard is this disease going to hit? We are so close to finishing this crop. If you didn’t make any fungicide applications, then do you want to harvest the crop before you originally planned or do you want to spray a fungicide now and lengthen your harvest window? It’s a farm-by-farm call,” he said.

For farmers who did apply a fungicide, Arndell said that protection likely continues.

“If we went with the original plan, to make an early-season fungicide application, probably with a herbicide application, spray Delaro at V5 to V7 and then come back at VT to R1 with Delaro or Delaro Complete, you are probably well protected,” he said.

Arndell said dry weather in June probably will play a big role in keeping the corn crop average versus above average.

“In June, the majority of my territory was very dry. We got timely rains in July. I think that dry period in June is what is going to contribute to this crop looking more average than the crop we had last year,” he said.

In some areas of the central and southern parts of the state, combines could roll as early as mid-September.

He said planting was delayed on the west side of Indiana, with farmers there planting anywhere from two weeks to a month later than they usually do. On the east side of the state, corn planting was mostly in line with past years.

“I would expect most harvest to start after the first week of September, probably around that second or third week is when most harvest should start to fire up,” he said.

With the heat and drought throughout the summer, Arndell said many DEKALB products have been able to show their strengths in handling those conditions.

“The DEKALB lineup is able to handle variability in weather patterns. They are very versatile products for soil types and just from top to bottom, our lineup has handled some of the stresses this year has thrown at us very, very well. With some of those heat- and drought-tolerant varieties, we’re really showing off the versatility of our lineup this year,” he said.

This column was contributed by Indiana AgriNews for DEKALB.

Jeannine Otto

Jeannine Otto

Field Editor