Dr. Megan Taylor


Let’s talk crops! This is Dr. Megan Taylor your local friendly agronomist with Nebraska Extension serving Platte, Boone and Nance counties. Well folks, it has been a wet and wild few days across the Corn Belt. I was in Indiana over the weekend and drove through the record precipitation that was dropped in Iowa and Illinois.

Here in Columbus and throughout the area, there have reports of 2-4 inches in total precipitation. This rainfall will definitely benefit some of our cover crops and winter wheat that were planted after harvesting hailed corn. The rain and cooler temperatures have made it comfortable to be outside and working on equipment in preparation for harvest.

Many are making last minute adjustments and will start running on early planted beans. Checking and cleaning equipment between fields is a great integrative management technique to help stop the spread of diseases, pests and weed seed from field to field.

With the extra water, we may see lodging issues in our soybean and corn fields. Water saturated soils are especially vulnerable to root lodging. Even moderate winds can cause this phenomenon in mature corn. As I was recently driving down I-80 on through Iowa, there were several fields of corn that had been laid down due to the wet conditions and moderate wind. These fields need to take priority when harvesting and adjust the combine head accordingly to capture as many dropped ears as possible.

If there is a field that has significant wind or lodging issues for corn, crop rotation or grazing may help with volunteer corn for the next year. In soybeans, root lodging is also occurring but may be influenced by high seeding rates and wet soils. Once these bean fields are dried down enough to harvest, it will be crucial to get the beans out of the field. When we have these variable weather conditions, timing for harvest is the best strategy to minimize yield loss.

A reminder: the Syngenta settlement papers are due Oct. 12 and can be found at CropWatch.unl.edu. Also visit CropWatch for weekly articles about current issues and view scouting reports from across the state. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at 402-563-4901 or email me at mtaylor42@unl.edu.

For up-to-date information, follow me on twitter @CropTalkMegan. Join me next time for more crop talk with Dr. Megan Taylor, your local friendly agronomist with Nebraska extension. Boiler Up and Go Big Red!

Megan Taylor is an agronomist with Nebraska Extension serving Platte, Boone and Nance counties.

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