May 22, 2024

Scout your fields for healthy seedlings and successful crops

Channel Field Check Up Series

With most seed in the ground by now, it’s time to get in the fields for early season scouting to monitor the emergence and early season growth of the crop.

A successful stand establishment of a corn crop depends on several factors, starting with an even emergence of the seedlings.

It’s also important to keep an eye out for common symptoms associated with seedling diseases. Here are some helpful tips and situations to look out for while doing early season scouting.

Make sure that before heading out into the field, you take a tape measure for checking stand counts. Another tool that would be useful in your back pocket is a seed digger to check seed depth and to help with digging up seedlings.

While scouting, it’s important to know what a healthy plant looks like in order to identify seedling diseases. Healthy color and growth patterns indicate a healthy crop.

While scouting for seedling diseases, be on the lookout for yellowing, wilted, stunted, dead or missing plants. Look for discolored or rotten mesocotyls, seminal roots and nodal roots in corn crops.

In soybeans, look for seedlings that can be pulled out easily from the soil, are discolored or have rotting root tissue, or have lesions on the taproot or hypocotyl.

Delayed- or slow-growing plants are a watch-out in early season scouting. These issues are all common symptoms of seedling diseases.

Diagnosing a specific seedling disease can be difficult because symptoms are very similar. The best way to positively identify the cause of the problem is to send samples of the diseased plants to a plant diagnostic clinic that offers microscopic examination and other laboratory analyses of diseased seedlings.

As the growing season gets underway in Illinois, farmers can consider these tips to enhance yield potential.

Once plants have emerged, scouting for potential issues is key to determine if any replanting is necessary.

As the season continues, if nutrient deficiencies are detected, it’s important to make timely in-season fertilizer applications to keep the crop on track with the yield goal.

If foliar disease symptoms start to appear, a fungicide application can be necessary to help protect yield.

There are online tools available at to help farmers evaluate the benefits of inputs, including a profitability calculator and a Population Optimizer tool.

Using the recommendations from these tools and working with your Channel Seedsman can help maximize the potential of your Channel products.

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