Dave Nanda, Director of Genetics and Technology for Seed Consultants, Inc., inspected the Crop Watch '13 field for this week's report. He found a few blemishes here and there, but overall, he believes there is still high yield potential.
For those of you with good memories, he also said that last year – but in early June, not early August. By early August a year ago, it was clear that the field was a disaster. The final yield was 55 bushels per acre, with parts of the field making zero. It's not the same field this year. That field had more drought-prone soils. However, Nanda says this year's field will need at least one more good rain to realize its top potential.
Here's what he saw.
Nitrogen deficiency: It's showing up on the lower three to five leaves in some areas. It's perhaps related to receiving too much rain early in the season.
Late weeds: It's mostly a little grass or morning glories, and likely won't hurt the crop. The most grass is on the end rows.
Population: The stand is good, Nanda says, although there are some skips here and there. There are also some doubles in places.
Insects: Some ear worms were working on the tips of ears in a few places. There were a few plants infested with corn borers. Remember, however, this one is hard to assess since it was refuge-in-a-bag seed. A small percentage of the plants do not have genetic protection to these insects, on purpose.
Good pollination: Ears are filled all the way to the tip. On the ears checked, there were 45 to 48 kernels per row, and 16 rows per ear.
Disease: Some gray leaf spot was noted. However, the farmer notes the field was sprayed with Headline fungicide with ground equipment at the proper time on the label in the reproductive phase.
Sounds like there's high yield potential! But bring some water soon!
The Crop Watch '13 project is partially sponsored by Seed Consultants, Inc. The company will provide seed prizes for the top three people who guess yield closest to actual yield in the field. If you're ready to make your guess, refer to the August issue of your magazine.