Category Archives: Storm Damage

Fire and Wind Damage to Fields

Fire Damage to Fields

Am grateful for reports of few people hurt, many homes saved, and I think most cattle saved too from Sunday’s fires. I really can’t imagine how all that works with that many firefighters, first responders, and farmers showing up with equipment driving blind into smoke/dust/fires and everyone staying safe, but am grateful. With Sunday’s winds and the fire damage throughout the State, have received questions on what to do next in these damaged fields and what to anticipate for soil impacts. 

For fields that were harvested with residue burned, we’re recommending to get rye or wheat planted into them to potentially get some cover on these fields. I know it’s dry. We keep hoping for moisture with each of these potential rains forecasted (including this week). But if there’s any chance to get some cover, I’ve seen 1″ tall rye produce up to 3″ roots and watched how that size of rye helped this past spring with the winds and in 2019 in helping hold soil during the floods. Rye can germinate down to 32F soil temperature and wheat can germinate down to 39F. So that’s our recommendation. If you have smaller areas where you can get manure on that has any type of bedding in it, that also could help.

A few calling from Nuckolls Co. have wondered about fire damage to long-term no-till. Fire itself won’t damage no-till from the standpoint of the soil structure built. It will remove residue and the organic matter from the residue, but the fire itself doesn’t impact organic matter. Fire and the resulting ash does impact water infiltration as the ash can clog soil pores. Wind erosion can also ‘seal off’ the soil surface which can reduce water infiltration. Thus another reason why drilling a small grain in hopes of disturbing the ash and getting cover established may help.

Nitrogen and sulfur to a small extent are released to the atmosphere during fire, and nitrogen and other nutrients become more available in the soil due to quick mineralization from the fire. Nutrients from the residue will be contained in the ash which can be lost to wind erosion, but those nutrient losses are fairly minimal overall. To read more on soil impacts, see this resource from Montana State. It has an interesting chart showing the amount of N, P, K in the top 6″ of soil and then compares how much is removed from stover that’s harvested or burned. The numbers for residue removal aren’t exactly the same as what we share for Nebraska, but they’re in line. 

Plan on soil testing, may be wiser next spring, to determine nutrient levels in these fields prior to planting. The combination of drought + fire may result in greater nitrogen availability than what one may think.

Fire can often aid grasslands, so would say to let pastures work to recover on their own for now.

I hope all the fields impacted were harvested, but if you have a field that wasn’t, please give me a call and we can talk through that. Ultimately, what we’ve been recommending for fields in this situation in northeast Nebraska has been to harvest the fields as normal and send in grain samples to get a feed value and also quality value. All those fields have been corn fields so far. Dr. Mary Drewnoski has put together information on feeding burned corn that we can share for anyone who needs that.


Wind Damage to Replant Corn Fields

I had been watching different forecasters talking about last weekend for a few weeks. Grateful it wasn’t like they were originally predicting. So last Friday I had popped into fields to see how stalks were holding up. From what I was seeing in the replant corn, I figured a lot of the tops would blow out as plants were quickly losing strength above the ears. Was seeing up to 35% stalk rot (base of plants) in irrigated fields and over 50% in non-irrigated. So far, have seen good shank attachment and ear attachment within the shanks. Grateful for how the ears have held on and the bottoms of plants have held up thus far!

In saying this, it’s honestly a matter of time before these replant corn plants will go down and/or potentially drop ears. I seek to be positive, but I also want to be honest with what I’m seeing. I’m hearing the wind dried corn down compared to last week. Please be checking moistures in your fields. I realize everyone’s situations vary with bins, etc.; it may be wise to keep harvesting a little at a time and drying in between instead of waiting for it to dry in the field this year. 

If you’re willing to share your replant corn test weights anonymously, please do so here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfpgVRce5VJ6ytg1S2gZlqBfFAa10qINVhWIkVFSpaFh89-7A/viewform?usp=sf_link.

JenREES 10/16/22

Frost Damage Update: Prior to the Oct. 8 frost, I did a driving tour to check where any replant fields were at. I wanted to have an idea of what potential yield loss we were looking at in the area.  Around 85% of the corn surveyed in the York/Seward/Hamilton/Clay area pre-frost was in the ½ milk stage. Around 10% was ¼-1/3 milk stage while the remainder was either just at beginning dent or at ¾ dent.

So, I knew we were mostly looking at these stages when it came to yield loss when I wrote last week:

  • Beginning Dent: Leaves & Stalk killed = 40% yield loss; Leaves only killed = 27% yield loss (23% via National Crop Insurance Services 100% leaf loss at this stage)
  • ½ milk: Leaves & Stalk Killed = 12% yield loss ; Leaves only killed = 6% yield loss (8% yield loss based on National Crop Insurance Services 100% leaf loss at this stage)

Looking at fields this week, the top half of plants in all corn fields were frost damaged with leaves turning gray/green. Fields that were earlier than ½ milk and/or that had been recently irrigated before the frost, had green leaves from the soil line up to the ears. I also observed that most of the corn moved another 1/4 milk along from what I documented prior to Oct. 8. Milo fields also ranged in the amount of leaf area killed as one looked at canopies within fields. Soybeans that had leaves were protected by shelterbelt areas, but otherwise turned color for the most part. In a couple fields that were further behind, the pods/seeds are turning to a light green/yellow, so will see what happens with the bean color over time. Leaf area that was not killed in all these crops will succumb with expected temps Sunday-Tuesday.

With the winds last week, I was concerned about stalks and ears, as were a few people who asked me what it was looking like. I am concerned about stalk quality going forward. Thankfully, right now, stalks are holding up well. Tops blowing out is fairly hybrid specific or observed more in non-irrigated ground. Frost damage to premature corn can also lead to pinched ear shanks as the ears turn down prematurely, increasing the potential for ear drop. So far, fortunately also seeing ear shanks firmly attached with ears firmly attached in husks.

I know we want to get the corn as dry as possible in the field. Just want to caution you to keep an eye on the stalks and ears and plan to harvest at higher moistures if needed.

Grain drying resources with charts:

Would documenting test weights be of value to you? Was thinking about what could be learned with this frost. I can’t document yield loss because we don’t have any corn that wasn’t damaged, but I can document what happens with test weights. Wondering if the info. could be helpful in the future since I’m not aware of recent data? So, I plan to drive the same route as we get closer to black layer and grab ear samples for test weights. The only thing I won’t know is hybrids on all the fields, but will document them where I know them. If you’d like to help, if you knew where your corn was at pre-frost, simply add in what the test weight, moisture, and hybrid was at the following link and I’ll share the anonymous data after harvest: https://forms.gle/x9VhbyMeA5qNku1YA.  If you have other ideas how to improve this or something else I should be thinking about for information, please let me know!


Greenness remaining in fields varied depending on crop stage pre-frost and soil moisture level. Minimal greenness remained in non-irrigated (far-left) to green from the soil line to ears in the two right-photos. Ears are turning down in fields that were more impacted by frost and most likely we will see ears turning down more this coming week. Watch stalks for stalk rot and watch for potential ear drop in fields.

I didn’t pop into many soybean fields but this is the range of pods/seeds coloration that could be expected in those that were greener with leaves remaining on them. These beans were still filling and pods were changing color. Several sources say the seed greenness should lesson over time if the stem was not completely froze (which was observed this past week with green color lessening) and/or with aerated storage after 4-6 weeks.

Milo also showed damage to leaves but often remained green deeper within the canopy of fields as one went into the fields. Most of the milo was past hard dough stage pre-frost.

Other observations last week: Wasn’t happy to see ear worms survive the frost in some ears (but the ones I found didn’t survive me 🙂 ). Drifts of soybean leaves in ditches are a common site with the very windy days.

JenREES 10/2/22

Crop Update: What beautiful weather! Grateful for the crops that are being harvested! Also, grateful to hear some are blowing out combines after harvest in these heavily infested palmer fields before moving to the next field. That’s the first step in managing palmer for the future. Regarding combine cleanout, Market Journal had a video at: https://youtu.be/UtSAaWtMTS4 and CropWatch had an article at: https://go.unl.edu/skfh if you’d like more information.

Managing heavy palmer fields after harvest: Palmer and waterhemp seed survive for 5-7 years. With each plant producing an average of 500,000 seeds, it only takes a few plants to create a mess.

Heavy palmer pressure in hail damaged corn field.

It’s been encouraging to see the rye and other small grains being drilled in fields; I realize it’s also been hard to irrigate them up after such a long irrigation season. Small grains such as rye, wheat, and oats have been proven to significantly reduce palmer, even in the absence of residual herbicide use compared to a no cover crop control. With the addition of a residual herbicide, there was no difference between using a cover crop and the check treatment. However, the way I look at it, the cover crop was another tool to take some of the pressure off the herbicide from having to do all the work. The main reason for that is because these small grains keep the soil surface covered. Palmer germinates when it senses red light on a bare soil surface, so keeping the soil covered can help reduce early season palmer germination. The small grains are also beneficial at reducing diseases such as white mold and sudden death syndrome.

If one isn’t interested in cover crops but is already using reduced tillage, another plan going forward will be to use a PRE- herbicide with residual followed by POST- with residual and get to canopy closure. Essentially, the strategy there is to keep the seeds from germinating.

For those who plan on disking, the research showed that disking once and not disking again for 3 years resulted in palmer reduction of 80-100% by year 3. However, disking each year allowed the seed to keep coming to the surface where it could germinate (depending on the herbicides and timing used). So, planting a cover crop after disking to cover the soil is one option to help reduce palmer germination in the spring. For those not interested in cover crops, having a strong herbicide program of a PRE- with residual followed by a POST- with residual sooner than you think you may need it, may be a strategy. One can also include cultivation followed by a residual herbicide, depending on canopy closure. The use of tillage, flaming, and electrocution are also being used in organic and some conventional systems.

Finishing Replant Crops: Grateful to be at this point in the season where much of the replant corn is 1/4 milk or further! Hybrids will vary regarding growing degree units (GDUs) to finish. A GDD tracking tool to help is https://mygeohub.org/groups/u2u/purdue_gdd. Regarding irrigation, below is the amount of water needed to finish corn. Most of the beans should be close to done for irrigating.

  • Beginning dent needs 5.0” water, around 24 days to maturity, 25-55% yield loss potential.
  • ¼ milk needs 3.75” water, about 19 days to maturity, 15-35% yield loss potential.
  • ½ milk needs 2.25” water, about 13 days to maturity, 5-10% yield loss potential.
  • ¾ milk needs 1.0” water, about 7 days to maturity, around 3% yield loss potential.

We knew replant crops would be a target for insect and disease pressure. It’s hard to see the corn earworm impact crops for such a large area as what they have this replant corn. Even fields that were sprayed once still have ear damage on a good 50% of the plants. The earworm feeding has allowed entry of fungi such as those causing white/pink Fusarium ear mold to varying degrees on the ears. Also seeing some blue-gray Penicillium ear mold and some sprouted kernels. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much we could practically do about it and there’s nothing we can do now till harvest. The presence of mold does not automatically mean the presence of mycotoxins. For harvest, it’ll be important to set combines to blow out any lighter, damaged kernels. Will share more on grain management in storage later.

Stem Borer: Have heard some disappointment about soybean yields which I feel is mostly due to beans being pushed too fast with the weather. Soybean stem borer is also being blamed, but it hasn’t been proven via research to reduce yield unless beans become lodged/break off. To understand why, it’s important to understand corn and soybean physiology. Soybeans are dicots like trees and the xylem and phloem are found in rings towards the outside of the stem instead of the center. So the stem borer hollowing out the soybean center doesn’t affect the soybean vascular bundles, but insects like gall midge working on the outside of the stem can. This differs from monocots like corn where the xylem and phloem are arranged throughout the stem. Thus, I don’t think stem borer is the reason for lower soybean yields that weren’t due to lodging/breaking off this year.


Dicot vascular bundles of xylem and phloem are arranged in a ring, whereas monocot bundles are sporadic. Diagram via Plants Grow Here. https://plantsgrowhere.com/blogs/education/monocots-vs-dicots-with-diagrams

Wheat and oats significantly reduced palmer biomass compared to no cover crop alone in the absence of a residual herbicide (black bars). Utilizing a residual herbicide (gray bars), the wheat and oat cover essentially eliminated palmer biomass and there was no difference between those treatments and the no cover crop with residual herbicide treatment.

JenREES 6/26/22

It’s a beautiful Sunday afternoon as I write this from my deck! Looking in my backyard I see one new rose blossom, leaves appearing on my vegetables, perennials, and bare areas of trees again, and beauty from a couple annuals I planted yesterday from plants that didn’t recover. As I worked with farmers the past few weeks, similar words kept surfacing in conversations: exhausted, sadness, numb, discouraged, so much loss, at least I wasn’t the only one, frustrated, angry, anxious, stressed, was thinking it’d be a good year, he/she had it worse, thankful for insurance, hopeful. And, I share that because you’re not alone in these thoughts and feelings. There’s been a tremendous amount of loss; sharing with others can help with healing. There’s been a range of emotions experienced in destroying what remains of old crops and driving to non-affected areas. Also, hope as beans, corn, and sorghum have emerged from the ground in 3 to 6 days. Praying we can finish the season well.

For those with gardens, there’s new life from buds developing on tomato, pepper, potatoes, eggplant, beans! Onions shot new leaves. My rhubarb went from a mushed mess to new leaves coming now. I had just left everything alone and yesterday removed the mushed, rotted rhubarb and replanted beans and carrots. Some have tried to help their hostas by cutting out dead once it dried. Many perennials reduced to sticks are trying to shoot new leaves. We will have to watch trees.

For those with good crops, I received a report of a first tassel in southern counties. Also, northern corn leaf blight from a consultant, so perhaps watch for that. Japanese beetles have arrived; I’m not talking about problems this week!

Have received two areas of cover crop questions: weed control in existing low corn populations and annual forages after a totaled out crop. If grazing/haying, please check the herbicide label. For example, the Resicore label specifies to ‘not graze or harvest rotational cover crops for food or animal feed for 18 months following the last application of Resicore.’

1—Weed control: For simplicity, low growth, low cost, quick shading I’d recommend brassica species such as forage collards, turnips, etc. They can be seeded now, or you can wait 3 weeks from when residual herbicide product was applied to the field. If you’d like a grass, annual ryegrass could be added; should survive the winter. Clovers could be added to provide N next year; should survive the winter. Ultimately just depends on your goals. I prefer drilling between the corn rows, but there are broadcast options that can cover acres faster. Our interseeding team will drill blocks of 5 to 10 acres of our small seed mix (brassicas, clovers, flax, ryegrass) for those interested in trying it (let me know asap if interested). Another project: several NRD’s including UBBNRD in partnership with UNL plan to apply covers via a high clearance machine around beginning dent in corn (targeted around eastern Beaver and Lincoln Creeks; contact UBBNRD if interested).

2-For those considering summer annual forages, if your fields got totaled or in the event your seed corn acres aren’t kept, here’s some ideas and tradeoffs. Sorghum sudangrass (4.2-5.3 T/ac), forage sorghum (4.4-5.3 T/ac), and sudangrass (4.1-4.8 T/ac) are some annual forage options. Sudangrass is an option for grazing due to its low prussic acid potential. Sorghum-sudangrass plants get tall and are suited well for greenchop. Forage sorghums are also known as ‘cane’ due to their sweet stems and are suited well for silage. They have higher prussic acid potential, so we don’t recommend grazing them. For those looking at haying followed by grazing, I’d recommend pearl millet (3.8-4.5 T/ac). It doesn’t get the tonnage of the sorghum species, but the stems are thinner for haying and you don’t have to worry about prussic acid poisoning in the regrowth when you graze it. It worked well for my uncle and dad on their prevent plant farm in 2019 and the cattle loved it. This publication goes into more detail regarding all these species, seeding rates, how to graze and hay each, etc: https://go.unl.edu/7ivw. If you’re interested in haying, I don’t recommend adding any other species to these as we’ve found it causes issues with drydown and with bales heating up. Rye (or wheat) could then be planted this fall/winter if desired.

Weed Management Field Day at UNL’s South Central Ag Lab is this week on June 29th near Clay Center (9 a.m.-1 p.m.). Great information including a second year research project of the same herbicide programs for corn and soybean when rye is terminated 2 weeks prior to planting vs. 2 weeks after planting. It’s interesting to see in the field, so hope you can join us! No cost, free lunch, please RSVP:  https://agronomy.unl.edu/weed-management-field-day-registration.


New soybeans alongside old sticks. Emerged in as little as 3 days. New corn in the old corn grower plot.

Part of my garden on June 15, 2022 the day after the hail events. I left it alone.

June 25th, 2022: New growth on most everything. Very few beans and none of my carrots survived. Rhubarb looks like a new plant again after removing the mushy, rotted growth and with the new leaves. Tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant came back from stems. Can see the hail damage on the stems. Onions shot new leaves out the top. Also had a new crop of asparagus come on. Need to re-stake remaining peas and will see what happens with them. Potatoes are all leaned over now instead of growing upright.

These lilies were just starting to open in all their glory the night of June 14th. I cut one stalk for the Extension Office and thought I took a pic, but hadn’t. That stalk has lasted these several weeks. I saw this one flower blooming on a battered stalk this week (the first of anything blooming in my gardens since the storm) and just smiled. It’s battered and bruised from the hail and wind but it’s beauty from ashes.
“…to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.” Isaiah 61:3 KJV
This is one of my favorite Bible verses and promises from God in the midst of hard things and I like this translation of it since it specifically says ‘beauty from ashes’. May we all look for the beauty in the midst of the ashes around us this week. And, I believe God is also desirous of creating beauty from ashes in all of our lives!

Hail Damage Update

Can also see area impacted by wildfires earlier this year in Cambridge area.

Well, the June 14th hailstorm was something we hope to never again experience. The National Weather Service in Hastings shared a video of satellite imagery showing lack of vegetation that is incredibly insightful:  https://twitter.com/NWSHastings/status/1538243511396360192. Feel for all who had damage to homes, animals, crops, buildings, bins, pivots, trees, gardens. For landscape info, check out the following from Backyard Farmer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIeA731LQg8&t=1s. Last week’s crop hailstorm webinar recording is at: https://go.unl.edu/pe9q.

I had hoped to get a blog post out much sooner. Thank you to all who called and I truly hope something from these field visits and calls has helped. I realize a lot of replant is currently occurring and grateful for the weather for that. While replanting stinks, perhaps it’s providing a small bit of healing for the eternal optimists that so many of us in ag are? Several asked how people are destroying the old corn crop. Depending on tillage system, they have used shredding, root slicers, tillage all followed by residue removers during planting (because I’m seeing tillers growing from old stumps). Others plan to plant between the rows and then cultivate the old row out. Can chemically terminate with gramoxone. Some are using clethodim if going to soybean.

Time right now is critical with replant decision making. Some thoughts for those who need to wait for crop insurance adjusters and fields to dry:

  • Start upright pivots, check control boxes, sprinklers, plastic lines to endguns, etc. Availability of parts may influence corn seeding rates. Document all damages for insurance.
  • For potential replant situations where you don’t wish to plant corn due to loss of bins or inability to dry corn, depending on what you’re interested in, consider hand planting some soybean, milo, or cover crop seed into your corn fields at different depths. This will provide an idea of survival depending on corn herbicide used. Ultimately, make a plan A and B for your situation.

Corn: Hail damage recovery has varied. From June 7th storm, there was unevenness in plants that recovered. Saw bacterial top rot setting into plants even in several V3-V4 damaged fields. Plants may look better from the road but inside the field tells the story. June 14th storms: plants are severely bruised. Seeing hail stones causing deep bruising and rot both above and below the growing point. Often plants snap when barely touched. Fields less impacted are gaining new growth and will look better next week. Keep watching the fields with small plants that were pummeled into the ground and seed fields. My blog at jenreesources.com has recovery photos and a chart to help with replant decisions and potential yield due to reduced stands. Area Pioneer agronomists also made a video suggesting for every 1000 ‘healthier’ plants, can consider 10 bu/ac …so 15,000 plants could result in around 150 bu/ac: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viOwFqi3FDU.

Soybean: Normally, soybean is so resilient with all the growing points. The xylem and phloem in beans are on the outside of the stem, so the hail pummeling the stems and tops impacted that transport and many plants just turned white/gray and died. For replanting beans, would recommend using a fungicide seed treatment; have seen phytophthora root rot in replant beans in the past. You don’t need other seed treatments. Seeding rates: If have surviving plants, can slot some in at a reduced rate between rows or angle depending on row spacing. If you don’t, go with original rate or increase 10%. Regarding maturity, we at several universities say to use Group 2’s at this date. Indeterminate beans continue to produce nodes, leaves, flowers till R5 regardless of maturity group and beans are daylength sensitive.

I truly wish everyone the best with decisions. This amount of loss takes a huge toll whether or not we are honest in admitting that to ourselves. I hear and sense the stress with each conversation. Each situation is unique in damages received, crop insurance taken, amount of grain forward contracted, and other life things occurring. Some are walking outside to devastation each day. Some had multiple events occur this year. You may be in crisis mode right now just trying to patch things up and get new crops planted. I don’t know what is helpful for you. What I know for me is that my faith in God, my belief that He is in control, and His continued faithfulness to me is what has sustained me. Tears can be healing. Just would encourage you to also find a healthy way to take care of yourself such as talking to a trusted friend, prayer, journaling, exercise, or participating in a hobby. This is a great resource on taking time to listen and talk: https://go.unl.edu/3daw.

*End of column for newspapers.


Photo credit: YouVersion Bible App

This chart shows the relative corn yield potential compared to the original stand if the stand is reduced based on planting date. It provides an idea anyway assuming no additional storms or other issues.
This chart is a soybean replant decision aid. It shows soybean can greatly compensate for reduced populations but one also needs to consider weed control and gaps.
These types of fields are fairly common and each was a field by field assessment regarding replant all, a portion, or leave.
Some plants are showing regrowth but sometimes also seeing discoloration in the whorl. Splitting open the plant, can see bacterial top rot moving towards the growing point which will kill this plant. Also notice the bruising from hailstones.
This is a from a V10-V11 field that from the road and walking into it looks green with new regrowth and looks like there’s 25-27K plants. However, the stems were absolutely pummeled. Every stem slit open had very deep bruising like this that’s allowing bacterial stalk rot to set in.

Different soybean fields. I keep failing to take pictures of soybeans. Mostly the fields look like the first pic and are clear-cut that they had too much stem damage and are dead. Or, they are obtaining new growth and look much better. Some are just super slow to get much growth, though, and for those fields, some growers are slotting some in from the standpoint of weed control. Those with lighter damage are seeing rapid new growth where petioles meet the stems (taller pic).

Showing these charts below again if helpful. We’d recommend 100 day or less maturities at this point.

York Ne Data
Avg. 28F frost Oct. 21
Relative Maturity80859095100105110
Planting DateGDD to R61917203821592280240125212642
June 15Sept. 5Sept. 11Sept. 19Sept. 28Oct. 8Oct. 23******
June 20Sept. 11Sept. 18Sept. 27Oct. 7Oct. 22*********
June 25Sept. 18Sept. 27Oct. 7Oct. 21*********
June 30Sept. 27Oct. 7Oct. 21************
***Date is beyond average 28F frost event of Oct. 21
Black layer predictions based on historical data for York County, NE from 1981-2021. Average 28F frost date for this site is October 21.
***indicates the date is beyond the average 28F average first frost of October 21.

Clay Center, Ne Data
Avg. 28F frost Oct. 18
Relative Maturity80859095100105110
Planting DateGDD to R61917203821592280240125212642
June 15Sept. 9Sept. 16Sept. 25Oct. 5Oct. 20*********
June 20Sept. 15Sept. 24Oct. 4Oct. 17*********
June 25Sept. 23Oct. 3Oct. 16************
June 30Oct. 2Oct. 15***************
***Date is beyond average 28F frost event of Oct. 18
Black layer predictions based on historical data for Clay County, NE from 1981-2021. Average 28F frost date for this site is October 18.
***indicates the date is beyond the average 28F average first frost of October 18.

A couple farmers have asked about interseeding cover crops into hail damaged fields for weed control. One farmer tried this with us in 2021 in the Hordville area after a late June hailstorm. He had 10-13K stand left with deep hail bruising that was deferred by insurance and was interested in forage for grazing after harvest. We interseeded a 10-13 multispecies cover crop mix that we use in our interseeding fields. Buckwheat is the white flowering plant and it germinates the fastest and shades the ground quickly. The cover crop seemed to help hold the ears better from dropping on the ground when stalks started breaking from bruising and it also to the line appeared greener where the cover crop was. It also to the line made a huge difference in the palmer and waterhemp pressure in the field. The mix held/provided 200 lb/ac nitrogen as well via biomass samples collected pre-harvest. However, the producer felt this specific mix would’ve been better used as silage for him.
What may be more helpful for producers interested in using interseeding to reduce weeds would be to seed low-growing cover crops. What you see here is purple top turnip, radish, flax, yellow sweetclover, hairy vetch, red ripper cowpea, annual ryegrass, and buckwheat. Of these seen here, I’d say to use forage collards, radishes/turnips, annual ryegrass to keep the costs down. One could throw in some iron and clay cowpeas just to help cover the ground more and they shouldn’t grow up past the ear nor go to seed like the red rippers will. For those looking for forage and can harvest in earlier October for better grazing, a York Co. grower also add sorghum to the interseeded mix in 2021. He said the AUM he achieved with the interseeded mix in his 10K corn stand (which was part of a test plot from 10-30K), was equivalent to grazing a quarter of cornstalks for a month. Be sure to talk with crop insurance if plan to interseed cover crops. We like drilling to get seed to soil contact vs. broadcast seeding, but realize that may not be feasible for everyone.

Hail Damage Assessment

There’s been a lot of hail damage this past week in Nebraska. It’s always so hard to see the damage, regardless of when the storms come. I’m sorry for those impacted and am grateful for safety as many lost windows in homes too. Various tools are available to show hail storm paths. I grabbed these from ‘Interactive Hail Maps’ to get a better feel for how much of Nebraska has been impacted this week (June 5, 6, 7, 9 2022 shown below).

We are at a critical time right now for making replant decisions with the federal crop replant date next Tuesday. Have looked at a lot of fields the past few days with a range of damages. The following is what I’m doing in assessments right now that I’ve found to be practical for me in the event it can help you. Will also share some tools, what to watch for, and some thoughts based on questions received.

Helpful Resources

What to Do Now

  • Look at fields to see damage extent. Know what growth stage the field was in at time of the storm.
  • Call crop insurance.
  • Call an agronomist or review resources to anticipate what to look for in plant recovery.
  • Flag plants in the field to assess recovery. This greatly aids in learning and has helped me tremendously! Taking a picture now and a week later of the same plants also helps.
  • Wait 5-7 days to assess recovery. I realize the waiting is perhaps the hardest when we’re up against deadlines, but we need time to see what will happen with plant recovery.
  • Consider options on what to do if the crop is totaled or not including herbicides applied, crop rotation restrictions, marketing and crop insurance, weed control going forward, etc.

Growth Staging Corn

It’s important to know the growth stage at the time of the storm. You may have an idea on the growth stage from crop scouting reports. You can also do this yourself by finding the tallest plant standing in an area and dig it up. What I describe here is the agronomic method of counting collars and nodes which is different from the leaf method that crop insurance will use. Slice open the plant to view the growing point. Every leaf on a corn plant is attached to a node. There’s 4 nodes where the first 4 leaves attach in a triangle at the base of the plant. Then there’s a small gap and you will see a line that marks node 5 followed by a larger gap and a line that marks node 6. Because of the cooler soil temps this year, I’m finding smaller gaps between nodes 4 to 5 and 5 to 6 (nodes are closer together). Pulling collard leaves back, they will snap off at whichever nodes they are attached to (which can help you in determining the more advanced growth stages from 6 to 8 leaves). We had plants that ranged from emergence to V8 from what I’ve seen thus far. We say the growing point doesn’t come above ground till typically V5-V6. For corn that was less than V6 and cut off to stumps or at ground level, there’s potential for it to come back. I actually was seeing new growth today (2 days post-hail) on plants that were cut off at ground level. However, I will also say that’s not a guarantee as it all depends on how bacterial rots set in.

Stand Assessments for Corn

Next I take stand assessments by counting 1/1000th of an acre. I actually feel corn plants at the base as I count to see if they feel firm (likely to survive) or mushy (not likely) and only count plants which appear most likely to survive. I also keep track of which ones are questionable. In the previous paragraph I mentioned slicing a plant open to find the growing point. For these assessments, I use my finger to measure on that plant where the growing point is. Then for the stumps that are in a row, I use my finger to measure each stump of a plant to get a feel if the growing point may be above or below what’s left of the stump. If questionable, I don’t count it. It’s not perfect since slicing open the plant is always best, but it provides an idea for right now anyway. Some plants have quite a bit of hail damage to stems and we will have to see how far the damage penetrates for stalk rot. There’s some fields from the road that I didn’t think looked that bad until I got in them and realized how many were wrapped or where they were cut off. I’ve gotten between 15-26K for stands thus far with usually 3-6 questionable plants that weren’t counted. There are some fields that were near completely cut off below the growing point.

What to expect for corn

I know we’re tired of wind, but wind and sun are helpful right now. Today was so much better assessing plants as the wind has helped senesce dead parts of plants and started the process of tearing off bent whorls so the new growth can push through. For bent whorls that remain bent and don’t slough off, the new growth stays wrapped and those plants won’t survive. Watch stumps for new growth (depending on where the growing point may have been). Also watch stumps in particular to see if bacterial rot sets in. Even though the growing point is below ground, I’m unsure about some of the V2-V4 corn that was snapped off by washing rain and debris as to whether or not those plants will come back due to rot setting in. I just don’t know and that’s why we wait.

You can flag plants and also open up a few plants with hail damaged stems to see how deeply the stones penetrated the stalk tissue. I was seeing bacterial stalk rot already setting in today (2 days post-hail), which isn’t good, but something to be aware of. I’m also seeing discolored crowns at base of plants in some fields when they’re split open. Unsure why that is but ultimately, what’s more critical is that the growing point of the plant is healthy (white/cream color and firm, not brown and mushy).

What to expect for soybean

I haven’t taken any stand counts for soybean. I’ve only seen maybe two fields that may need replant at this point (from my perspective). Soybeans are so incredible at compensating! Today was seeing 3-5 growing points emerging on some of these sticks. They key to survival is if the plant was cut above or below the cotyledons. What I’m seeing for farmers who planted soybeans April 19-25, the cotyledons are close to the ground because of the cooler soil temps, which is good because there’s growing points lower on the sticks of stems that are left. In a week, these beans will look a lot different. I know people want to write them off now, but it’s incredible what they will do with some sunshine and 7-10 days. However, in saying that, each field is a field by field assessment. UNL and University of Wisconsin recommend leaving stands of 50,000 plants/ac. The bigger issue I realize at this point is weed control since early beans were V4-V5 and bushing nicely prior to this storm. Check out this cool app from University of Wisconsin on replanting bean decisions: Bean Cam Soybean Replant App.

Replanting Corn

Regarding herbicide applied and crop replant, ultimately, view the label for any replant and/or rotation restrictions (or 2022 Weed Guide starting on page 198). And, it’s good to have conversations with area chemical reps for specific questions on what may or may not be safe to try.

The corn replant decision is hard. It’s obviously an economical one, but there’s various slants to consider on it, especially in regards to crop insurance and how much a crop has been marketed. Each field will need to be assessed. I know some are hoping for crop insurance to total fields, but I really don’t know if they will total stands of 15-20K plants or not. Again, these are field by field decisions. If the field is totaled, depending on herbicides, replanting to corn, milo, and soybean may be options. A few have been interested in forages and that is really a conversation about your goals and how the forage will be harvested.

For those wanting to plant corn, we can’t predict when a fall frost will occur each year. What we can do is look at historical trends to get an idea on maturities to plant for different dates that hopefully will mature prior to frost. The following is based on data at: https://hprcc.unl.edu/agroclimate/gdd.php. For those located in a different part of the State, select your location on the map at the above web link. Then input the planting date and relative maturity you’re considering and see where it aligns with the 28F historical frost date. Below are charts I created for York and Clay Counties. Additional information on corn hybrid maturities and late planting can be found here: https://go.unl.edu/gnas.

York Ne Data
Avg. 28F frost Oct. 21
Relative Maturity80859095100105110
Planting DateGDD to R61917203821592280240125212642
June 15Sept. 5Sept. 11Sept. 19Sept. 28Oct. 8Oct. 23******
June 20Sept. 11Sept. 18Sept. 27Oct. 7Oct. 22*********
June 25Sept. 18Sept. 27Oct. 7Oct. 21*********
June 30Sept. 27Oct. 7Oct. 21************
***Date is beyond average 28F frost event of Oct. 21
Black layer predictions based on historical data for York County, NE from 1981-2021. Average 28F frost date for this site is October 21.
***indicates the date is beyond the average 28F average first frost of October 21.

Clay Center, Ne Data
Avg. 28F frost Oct. 18
Relative Maturity80859095100105110
Planting DateGDD to R61917203821592280240125212642
June 15Sept. 9Sept. 16Sept. 25Oct. 5Oct. 20*********
June 20Sept. 15Sept. 24Oct. 4Oct. 17*********
June 25Sept. 23Oct. 3Oct. 16************
June 30Oct. 2Oct. 15***************
***Date is beyond average 28F frost event of Oct. 18
Black layer predictions based on historical data for Clay County, NE from 1981-2021. Average 28F frost date for this site is October 18.
***indicates the date is beyond the average 28F average first frost of October 18.

Replanting Soybean

If changing from corn to soybean in the replant decision, maybe it’d be wise to poke some soybeans in the ground now just to see how they fare with the herbicide that’s been applied? And maybe you try poking them in at different depths? I know I normally recommend planting deeper, but right now I’m suggesting shallower…like 1″…to hopefully be above any herbicide band that moved into the soil (if planting into a corn field) and to hopefully get the beans out of the ground quicker. The following article shares considerations for soybean when planting mid-June: https://go.unl.edu/20ry. In summary of it, for maturities, UNL recommends to stick with as similar maturity as possible till around June 15 and then consider switching to 0.5-1.0 maturity group less. I’m hearing from many seed dealers that beans are in short supply, so talk with your seed rep if you’re thinking about seeding beans at this point. Different thoughts on row spacing. Drilling or 15″ can close canopy sooner but we saw problems with white mold last year in the area and 30″ also allows for cultivation as a weed control option with application date restrictions on herbicide-tolerant bean traits. Wider rows should hopefully close canopy unless the beans get hit with off-target herbicide. Seeding rates are also debated. Many sources recommend to increase them by 10% after early June. I can appreciate the thought behind that and honestly don’t have a preference either way. In my experience with seeding rates, I didn’t see a difference in canopy closure timing with 90K to 180K, but my experiences have been with early April-May plantings.

Products

There’s also a number of thoughts regarding products. We don’t have research on the nutrient side for those asking about applying various products. I do feel sulfur has some healing properties but have no research to share.

Regarding fungicides, we don’t recommend them from the standpoint that hail doesn’t create fungal diseases. At some point, they could be helpful to aid in stalk strength. However, if you’re considering this in the next few weeks, consider proving it to yourselves with on-farm research this year so we do have data for the future. All you do is spray fungicide in enough width so two 2 combine passes can be obtained. Then skip an area for at least 2 combine passes. Then treat again and repeat across the field. Fungicide Protocol for Hailed Corn and Soybean. Please let me know if you’re interested in this!

Timing of fungicide app: ISU did a study to simulate hail damaged corn at tassel stage within an average of 3 or 8 days post-hail. They didn’t find the timing to provide any yield effects. They also didn’t find a statistical yield increase (90% confidence level) in fungicide application to hail damaged plants vs those which weren’t hailed although they also reported a numerical increase in 12 of the 20 fields. They also interestingly found that hail damaged crops had less foliar disease than non-hail damaged crops in their 3 year simulated hail-damage study.

For herbicide application, some labels recommend waiting 2-3 days after a crop damage event. Ultimately, to be on the safe side, it would be wise to wait for new regrowth on both the crop and the weeds.

Hopefully some of this helps as you assess your hail damage situation. It can be emotionally draining to look at all the damage, but would encourage you to look for all the small positives you can find. Getting away to enjoy a hobby, talking to another person, relying on one’s faith, and keeping a greater perspective helps. We do have resources at our Rural Wellness website at: https://ruralwellness.unl.edu/. Hang in there and wishing you the best with your decisions! Please reach out with any questions or additional information.

JenREES 8/1/21

Reminder of the Seward and York County Fairs this week! August also brings the season of field days! Soybean Management Field Days will be held next week at various locations in the State from Aug. 10 to Aug. 13. The closest to this part of the State is Aug. 12th near Rising City at the Bart & Geoff Ruth Farm. More info. at: enrec.unl.edu/soydays.

Corn Update: I realize this week’s column shares lots of problems seen in the field last week. My goal is always to increase awareness, but sometimes it feels ‘heavy’ hearing about the problems. Grateful we’ve had few problems overall this season till now! The high humidity has allowed non-irrigated crops to hang on and crops in general to not use as much water as anticipated for crops at this stage. In general, fungal disease is still low in fields. I’m starting to see baby lesions that will most likely become gray leaf spot around mid-canopy, so that will be something to watch in coming weeks. Spidermites have also been flaring above the ear in some fields, particularly non-irrigated.

For our area of the State, southern rust has been confirmed in Adams, Nuckolls, Thayer, Gage, Saline, Clay, and Fillmore counties. There are probable samples at time of writing this for Seward and Jefferson counties (https://corn.ipmpipe.org/southerncornrust/). In all the samples, incidence and severity were very low. Many are being found around waist-high in the canopy. Three samples I confirmed last week were from fields that had already been sprayed and the pustules were found mid-canopy. This happens every year, regardless of the residual applied in the first application. I know a couple farmers who have paid a little extra to have the aerial applicator increase gallonage from 2 gal/ac to 3 gal/ac. They felt that aided in coverage a little further into the canopy. For those with chemigation certification, I also know several growers who chemigate their insecticide and/or fungicide effectively, which allows for better plant coverage into the canopy (as long as pivot doesn’t have drop nozzles below canopy).

I really enjoy observing what occurs with plants, yet I honestly don’t know anyone who wishes to see abnormal corn ears, especially after wind events such as July 9. I feel it’s important to observe and document what occurs on these plants that bent and didn’t break. The goal is awareness to know what type of ear development exists so there’s not such a surprise at harvest if yields are off, and to be aware when working with your crop insurance agent. There’s unfortunately some ugly looking ears out there. Some similar stress events occurred this year comparable to 2016, minus the drop in temperature prior to the wind event. I’m not seeing anything yet to the level like what we saw in 2016, which is encouraging. What I’m seeing ranges from row abortion above where the ear stress occurred to torpedo and banana shaped ears to pinched areas on ears including various forms of ‘barbells’. Finding greater damage in fields where the plants were within a week of tasseling when the wind event occurred. It also appears like those fields that were 2 weeks or more from tasseling at the time of the wind event aren’t as impacted. For growers that had plants that blew down or leaned and then righted themselves but didn’t break, it’s wise that you and/or your agronomist are checking ear development on them. Each field can be unique depending on stage of development the particular hybrid was in at the time of the wind event. Pictures of what is being observed are at jenreesources.com.

Small patch of field with plants that rapidly died with plants surrounding it, upon closer examination, showing beginning symptoms of SDS.

Soybean Update: Received a number of calls regarding poor-looking patches in soybean fields this week. Drought stress is showing up in non-irrigated fields. Be checking those areas for spidermites as well. If they’re present, I tend to find them towards the edge of the patch between the impacted area and what appears to be healthier beans. White mold in soybeans is something that’s becoming more common in counties such as Butler. It can have patterns such as several plants in a row impacted and/or a patchy area in the field. The plants will have a white cottony fungal growth on them and eventually the stem (upon splitting) has black fungal structures that look like mouse droppings in them.

Sudden death syndrome (SDS) and/or brown stem rot are also showing up in small patches of fields where the leaves have a chlorotic/necrotic look between the veins. The humidity has allowed the blue/gray fungal growth characteristic of SDS on the rotted taproots to be observed even mid-day. If you split the stem and the pith is brown, the culprit is most likely brown stem rot; if it’s not but the taproot is rotted and you can easily pull it from the soil, it’s probably SDS. Plants can sometimes have both diseases. All of these are soil-borne fungal diseases and there’s no control measures for this time of year. It would be wise to pull 0-8” soil samples to check for soybean cyst nematode in areas of fields you’re finding SDS and brown stem rot in. Dectes (soybean) stem borer tunneling can be confusing when determining dectes vs. brown stem rot. At this time of year, I don’t typically see dectes moving far (more than 1-2″ either direction) from the initial point of hatching near the petiole. This is in comparison to brown stem rot which would have browning of pith from soil line. Dectes also will not kill plants (just create conditions for lodging and breaking off near harvest). This is because the vascular bundles of soybeans are found on the outside edge and not in the center of the stem. Thus, death of plants this time of year are due to another cause.


Two examples of shortened husks on developing ears. Husking back these ears often shows a pinch point that occurred during the windstorm resulting in jumbled kernels.

Seeing quite a bit of this, perhaps more minimal in grand scheme of things. You can see the slight twist of the rows at what I’m assuming was stress point during wind event. What’s harder to see in this picture is the fact that two rows were aborted as the ear elongated above this point vs. below it.
This shows the range of ear abnormalities I’ve seen as a result of the July 9, 2021 wind event. These were taken from York, Hamilton, and Clay counties. Some of these were still fairly early to determine impacts to pollination. (The brown discoloration is just due to the heat before I took pics later that night after collecting these and I should’ve had a large cooler with me to keep them cool). Still a little early on these ears to assess pollination. Finding greater damage in fields where the plants were within a week of tasseling when the wind event occurred. It also appears like those fields that were 2 weeks or more from tasseling at the time of the wind event aren’t impacted.
Photo courtesy of John Mick showing a range of ear abnormalities he’s seen, particularly in southern Fillmore County, as a result of the July 9, 2021 wind event.
Multiple Ears on the Same Shank (MESS) syndrome is found again this year on certain hybrids. This is not related to the July 9th wind event. It doesn’t appear to impact yield. More information can be viewed at: https://www.agry.purdue.edu/ext/corn/news/timeless/MessyEars.html

JenREES 7-19-20

Crop Update: The smell of pollen is in the air! Did you know each tassel contains around 6000 pollen-producing anthers? Two good articles from Dr. Bob Nielsen, Purdue University at https://go.unl.edu/x5tv.

How does heat impact pollination? Dr. Tom Hoegemeyer, former UNL Professor of Practice, shared that high humidity, without a drop in humidity during the day, can delay pollination or prevent pollen from leaving anther sacs. While heat over 95°F depresses pollen production, one day of 95-98°F has no or little yield impact when soil moisture is sufficient. After 4 consecutive days, there can be a 1% loss in yield for each day above that temperature. Greater yield loss occurs after the fifth or sixth day. Thankfully we’re not in a high heat pattern during this critical time of pollination!

My concerns regarding pollination: bent ear leaves covering silks in wind-damaged fields. Seeing a great deal of this. Also seeing silks continuing to elongate and grow through broken mid-ribs to increase exposure to pollen. Will continue to observe impacts.

Preliminary storm prediction center weather data showed a total of 93 wind, 11 hail, and 13 tornado damage reports on July 8th in Nebraska. Univ. of Wisconsin found lodged plants had yield reductions of 2-6% (V10-12 stage), 5-15% (V13-15 stage), and 12-31% (V17 and after stages). For greensnapped plants (below ear), Iowa State found in the worst case situation, yield reduction may range up to a 1:1 percent broken:yield loss. It’s possible these losses will be as low as 1:0.73 or even 1:0.50. We have an article in this week’s CropWatch (https://go.unl.edu/cwy2) with more detailed information. Recovery pics also at https://jenreesources.com.

Southern Rust was confirmed at low incidence and severity in Fillmore, Nuckolls, and Jefferson county fields this past week (probable for Thayer). Received questions on fungicide applications. In conversations, it seems like there’s fear of making the wrong decision and ultimately pressure to apply them. I realize economically it’s easier to justify adding a fungicide with insecticide when insect thresholds are met to save application costs. Most fungicide studies focus on VT applications; however, yield increases with automatic VT applications aren’t consistently proven in Nebraska.

In fact, in 2008-2009, a UNL fungicide timing trial was conducted near Clay Center on 2 hybrids (GLS ratings ‘fair’ and ‘(very) good’) with a high clearance applicator. Timing over the two years included: Tassel, Milk, Dough, 25%, 33%, 50%, and 100% Dent comparing the fungicides Headline, Headline AMP, Quilt and Stratego YLD.

  • 2008: No yield difference on GLS hybrids rated ‘good’ at any of the timings (Tassel, Milk, 33% and 100% Dent) nor the check when Headline or Stratego YLD were applied. For the ‘fair’ hybrid, no yield difference for any application timing nor the check for the April 30th planting except for Headline applied at milk stage (increased yield). Low gray leaf spot pressure.
  • 2009: No yield difference on GLS hybrids rated ‘very good’ or ‘fair’ nor the check on any timings (Tassel, Milk, and Dough) using Headline, Headline AMP, or Quilt. Moderate gray leaf spot disease pressure.

Thus I’ve recommended waiting till disease pressure warrants the application (have personally recommended apps as late as hard dough in previous years). Hybrids vary in disease susceptibility (thus response to fungicide application). The main ‘plant health’ benefit observed in Nebraska when disease pressure was low (ex. 2012) was stalk strength and that may be something to consider again in this lower disease year. Regarding any improved water use efficiency for drought-stressed plants, the peer-reviewed research published on this was in 2007. The researchers found slightly increased efficiency in well-watered plants, but it was reduced in water-stressed plants. They suggested fungicide use in water-stressed plants could potentially negatively influence water use efficiency and photosynthesis.


 

Same area of a York County Field taken morning of July 9th (left photo) and morning of July 13th (right photo). Grateful to see how plants are re-orienting themselves in many impacted lodged fields!

Leaned plants trying to upright themselves

Plants re-orienting themselves by ‘pushing’ and establishing more brace roots on the leeward (leaned side) helping roots reconnect with soil on the windward side. Notice the additional brace root development within the circled area of this photo.

Plants reorienting themselves at each node at various angles and bends

Plants reorienting themselves at each node at various angles and bends. Nodes become thicker to aid in reorientation.

Splitting open of thickened node

Splitting open of thickened node. Additional cell division and/or elongation occurring at these nodes appears to help ‘push’ the stalk upward (geotrophic response).

IMG_20200714_135044

Consistently seeing bent ear leaves covering silks in wind-damaged fields. Will have to watch any impacts to pollination.

IMG_20200716_132022

Also seeing how either the ear or silks are working their way through tears in leaves or silks elongating to the side of the plant to try to pollinate.

IMG_20200714_175902

Severely greensnapped field of later-planted corn.

Seeing some new growth on some greensnapped plants. Dissecting the growth revealed baby corn ears (they won’t amount to anything). Just shows the resiliency in plants regarding how they’re created to survive and reproduce. I never cease to be amazed by their Creator!

IMG_20200714_135504

Seeing this very minor. Ear trapped within thickened husk/stalk tissue so forcing itself through side of plant. Silks visible first.

IMG_20200714_135634

Opened this one to see curving of ear and some potential pinching occurring where ear was trapped above where it was forcing out of husk. Will be interesting to see any pollination and ear development impacts on plants like this.

JenREES 7-12-20

Wind-damaged Corn: The evening/early morning hours of July 8-9 caused quite a bit of IMG_20200709_105000damage to corn fields for some of you reading this. It’s always hard to see crop damage. For field corn, it came at a critical time prior to pollination. The severity and amount of recovery for every field situation will vary depending on the soil moisture at time of the wind, root mass structure, hybrid planted, severity of leaning/bent/snapped plants, and growth stage of the plants. It will also depend on where the bending and snapping of those plants occurred. ‘Recovery’ encompasses the plants righting themselves, re-establishing roots, and re-orienting leaves as they have the ability to bend and grow up towards the sunlight in areas of the plant where plant tissues were not yet lignified (hardened). We know hybrids have been bred to better withstand greensnap. We know that plants that are leaning due to root lodging may have better ability to upright themselves (and have seen this in some fields since the storm). We also know that it is harder for plants near tasseling to upright themselves compared to plants at earlier vegetative stages.

What to expect? It really depends on the conditions outlined above. We all will learn a lot and I encourage us to share what we are observing. For fields very close to tassel with severe bending near ears, we may see pollination, possibly even ear formation issues. There may be fields that were leaning and will have minimal impacts after uprighting themselves. The main research I can find regarding corn lodging yield impacts comes from the University of Wisconsin in 1988. In the study, they manually lodged corn at various growth stages over 2 years to determine yield impacts. Corn lodged at V10-V12 resulted in a yield reduction of 2-6%. Corn lodged at V13-15 resulted in a yield reduction of 5-15%. Corn lodged after V17 resulted in a 12-31% yield reduction.

What to do? Recommend waiting, observing, call your crop insurance adjuster. Don’t apply products right now. Economically, we need to see how each field recovers before putting more into the crop. Plants are already stressed so give them time to try to recover. A respected agronomist shared another point with me-that adding heavy amounts of water right now can add weight onto the plants and keep them sticking together when they’re trying to separate. For those who were planning on fertigation, I’ve seen soil sample results and heard from several people that we’re seeing increased mineralization this year in fields due to the heat. It may be worth a tissue and/or soil test to see if you really need additional nitrogen (final application at brown silk). Regarding fungicides, my recommendation prior to the storm was to wait till at least brown silk (or after) due to low disease pressure, uneven growth stages in fields, waiting for southern rust, and economics; I stand by that after this storm. Fungicides can’t help much with the plant stress being experienced.

Spidermites have been found in low levels in corn, but in some cases, fairly high levels in soybean. Higher levels have been observed in stressed fields (due to off-target herbicide damage and/or beans stressed due to drought). If you’re noticing pockets in fields that appear to be yellow/brown/dying and spreading, check the top side of the leaf for stippling (yellow needle-like pin-pricks) and undersides for webbing and mites. Seeing them in non-stressed beans at low levels as well. Check out this information from Illinois for guidelines on when and how to control: http://bulletin.ipm.illinois.edu/?p=5080.spidemite tweet

Gardening Resources: Nebraska Extension is hosting a series of 12 virtual learning sessions for home gardeners to discuss timely issues around vegetable gardening and trees. Each session will include a short (15-20 minute) presentation on the specified topic and opportunities for participants to chat about their issues and “ask the expert”. Sessions will be each Tuesday through September at 7 p.m. CST. Participants can register via go.unl.edu/grobigredvirtual – you can register for all the sessions you’re interested in at one time. You can also view the series via this Facebook post: https://www.facebook.com/events/1195072680839800.

grobigred series

JenREES 6-14-20

Storm damage resources: Have had a number of calls throughout the State this week

Hail damage to soybean at the V2 stage

Soybean recovering from hail damage.

from those who have experienced hail, flooding, and/or wind damage. The warmer temperatures were helpful for regenerating plant growth after hail; however, they’re not helpful for those who had heavy rains and flooding that didn’t recede. I shared this last week too but here’s a Hail Damage Assessment resource with many videos: https://cropwatch.unl.edu/hail-know/assess-my-damage. For flooding, corn plants prior to V6 can survive under water for 2-4 days if temperatures do not exceed 77°F. From V7-V10, plants can survive 7-10 days if temperatures do not exceed 86°F. For soybeans, yield losses are minimal if flooding lasts less than 48 hours. If flooded for 4-5 days, fewer nodes develop and plants will be shorter. If flooded for 6+ days, possible stand and yield loss. The longer it takes a field to dry out, the more yield loss that may occur. For soybeans at flowering, there’s potential for yield loss, especially on poorly drained soils.

As we deal with corn leaf loss due to natural sloughing off, early frost, and recent hail

and wind damage, it can make corn development staging tricky for post- pesticide applications. The reason I keep emphasizing development stages is because I’ve been called out to many ear formation concerns the past several years. No one intends for these things to happen! These are opportunities for all of us to learn. In all cases, mis-diagnosis of development stage occurred prior to the pesticide application (whether herbicide, insecticide and/or fungicide). The use of non-ionic surfactant (NIS) in the tank from V10-VT resulted in the ear formation issues in addition to increased surfactant load from multiple products in the tank mix. My hope in emphasizing corn development staging this year is to hopefully reduce the incidence of ear abnormalities that occur from post- pesticide applications. I put together the following video to hopefully help: https://twitter.com/jenreesources/status/1272370173853470720?s=20.

Gardening 101 resources: A team within Extension pulled together all the vegetable gardening resources to create a one-stop place for vegetable gardening. This resource, housed on the backyard farmer website, is a place for beginning gardeners and experienced ones. Check it out at https://go.unl.edu/veggies101!  

Sunscald/scorch on green beans: This past week I received a few pictures of green beans that had large brown ‘burnt looking’ areas. This is caused by sunscald. The sun and wind has been intense. Seek to evenly water and avoid watering the foliage.

Trees: Lots of tree questions past few weeks. If leaves are pre-maturely turning yellow and dropping, it’s most likely due to fungal disease. This is mostly happening since the 3” rain over Memorial Day. All the trees I’ve looked at are already starting to develop new leaves. Weed whackers cause more injury to trees that one realizes, so be very careful using them around trees, or put mulch around them to reduce weeds. Remove ‘mulch volcanoes’ around trees as the mulch against the trunk can cause rot. Mulch should not be piled against the trunk. Seek to make clean and proper pruning cuts for all the storm damage that has occurred to trees. For those who’ve experienced bark removal from lightning strikes or winter cracking, don’t paint anything over the wound and don’t fertilize or do anything to the tree. Allow the tree to seek to heal on its own. It’s amazing what trees can overcome! Winter and spring dessication injury may be causing evergreens (cedars, junipers, yews, and arborvitae) to suddenly turning brown. Kelly Feehan, Extension Educator shares, “During warmer than average temperatures in February and March, moisture was lost from green needles and could not be replaced from frozen or cold soils. This was followed by a dry spring; and then above average temperatures and extreme winds. These conditions increase the rate of transpiration and increased moisture loss from needles. If the moisture is not replaced quickly, tissues dessicate and eventually die. Evergreens growing in open exposed sites, near pavement or light colored houses, and those planted in the last three to five years are most susceptible. Other than using organic mulch and keeping soil moist, there is not much to do. Once an evergreen or a branch turns completely brown, it will not recover.” You can prune out dead branches/areas and see how the plants overall recover.

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