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Crop Update June 9

Corn that was hail-damaged on June 3rd is starting to regrow.  Leaves wrapped up in the whorl are beginning to slough off as wind and warm temperatures cause the damaged tissue to die and break off.  For more information on how stand loss impacts yield, please check http://cropwatch.unl.edu.

Corn that was hail-damaged on June 3rd is starting to regrow. Leaves wrapped up in the whorl are beginning to slough off as wind and warm temperatures cause the damaged tissue to die and break off. For more information on how stand loss impacts yield, please check http://cropwatch.unl.edu.

Some corn plants more severely affected were reduced to sticks.  Sometimes no new growth is appearing while in other plants new growth can be seen.  I split open the stem on this plant.

Some corn plants more severely affected were reduced to stems. Sometimes no new growth is appearing while in other plants new growth can be seen. I split open the stem on this plant since no new growth was apparent and the center looked discolored.

In this corn plant, a bacterial rot has set in as can be seen from the discoloration at the upper portion of this plant and the discoloration at crown area.  This plant may not survive.  This is typical of what we were seeing in Nuckolls/Thayer counties with the 8-10" of rain they received there.  A difference between this and damping off is to look at the roots.

In this corn plant, a bacterial rot has set in as can be seen from the discoloration at the upper portion of this plant and the discoloration at crown area. This plant may not survive. This is typical of what we were seeing in Nuckolls/Thayer counties with the 8-10″ of rain they received there.  My concerns for corn at this point are bacterial diseases such as this or Goss’ wilt that may continue to reduce stands through the season.  Some growers are considering a fungicide application but fungicides don’t target bacterial diseases.  We’d recommend anyone considering this to consider an on-farm research experiment and I’d be happy to help set this up for you.

These soybeans were reduced to stems yet are showing new growth 5 days later.  UNL research has shown that soybean stands can be greatly reduced without a significant yield effect.   The other thing we have looked for is bruising on stems.

These soybeans were reduced to stems yet are showing new growth 5 days later. UNL research has shown that soybean stands can be greatly reduced without a significant yield effect. Several growers are considering replanting; we’d recommend taking into account the research or conduct an on-farm research experiment to see any differences for yourself like this farmer did.  The other thing we have looked for is bruising on stems and some flooded areas truly did not have plants survive.  For more information, please check out http://cropwatch.unl.edu.  

Crop Update June 5

This year I was counting my blessings as we made it through May with no tornadoes in Clay County and no Memorial Day storms!  Yet history seems to repeat itself on days.  Last year, hail went through the counties north of us on June 3.  This year, hail hit us on June 3rd….an estimated 30% of Clay County.  Please also see the resources listed at the end of this post for more specific information regarding decision-making.

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Earlier that day, I had looked at wheat in a number of counties where white heads were appearing in wheat. Most often they easily pulled from the head and weren’t more than 2% of fields. Those were attributed to wheat stem maggot. The white heads that were hard to pull from the stem were most likely due to some late frosts that we had in the area.

The evening of June 3rd resulted in various rainfall totals throughout the county and hail damage to an estimated 30% of the County.  This photo is of the west fork of the Upper Big Blue River that was flooding many fields along Hwy 6 between Hwy 14 and Sutton.

The evening of June 3rd resulted in various rainfall totals throughout the county and hail damage to an estimated 30% of the County. This photo is of the west fork of the Upper Big Blue River that was flooding many fields along Hwy 6 between Hwy 14 and Sutton.

This was June 4:  Water along both sides of Hwy 6 from Hwy 14 to Sutton and over the road in a few areas.  The road was closed on June 5th after another 3-4 inches fell in the area Thursday night.  Portions of fields were flooded throughout the County and we'll have to see how long it takes for water to recede and what temperatures do to determine any replant situations.

This was June 4: Water along both sides of Hwy 6 from Hwy 14 to Sutton and over the road in a few areas. The road was closed on June 5th after another 3-4 inches fell in the area Thursday night. Portions of fields were flooded throughout the County and we’ll have to see how long it takes for water to recede and what temperatures do to determine any replant situations.

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Corn in the V5-V6 stage ranges in hail damage. The worst damage of plants were reduced to sticks. Time will tell how well the plants recover. I’m concerned about bacterial diseases in corn-particularly Goss’ wilt showing up later…but also a bacterial rot that we were seeing in Nuckolls and Thayer Co. after the heavy rains they received last month.

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Soybeans ranged from planted to V3 in the County. Many of the hail-damaged beans still had a cotyledon attached. In the past, I’ve seen new plumules shoot from the top of the stem when the growing point wasn’t too damaged. We again will need to wait and see what happens.

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First cutting alfalfa is down in much of the County waiting to be baled.

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Severely hailed wheat field. You can also see the amount of stripe rust present in this field. We estimated 75-80% of wheat heads in this field were broken over and wouldn’t fill the heads. 

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Another hail-damaged wheat photo. We have a great deal of stripe rust of wheat in the County and some farmers with livestock have chosen to hay wheat that is severely affected by stripe rust. Some did spray fungicide which has held the rust back. Others are going to just see what happens yield-wise.

For more information on hail and replant decisions, please see:

Corn Progression After August 2013 Storm

On August 1, 2013, a severe wind and hail storm damaged 170,000 acres of corn and 86,000 acres of soybeans in Clay County, Nebraska. Corn at the time of the storm was from brown silk-blister. While the storms in the Gibbon/Blue Hill areas occurred a little earlier in the growing season, the following photos show the progression of damage in the event it can be of help to those affected by 2014 storms.

Field on August 2nd that was totaled out and planted to cover crops.

Field on August 2nd that was totaled out and planted to cover crops.  Where crop insurance allowed, producers considered various forage options.

Some producers chose to spray fungicides on fields with more foliar leaf tissue such as this one.

Some producers chose to spray fungicides on fields with more foliar leaf tissue such as this one.

Hail damage to stalks shown 4 days after the storm.

Hail damage to stalks shown 4 days after the storm.

Splitting the stalks open 4 days after the storm resulted in seeing stalk rot already beginning to set in.

Splitting the stalks open 4 days after the storm resulted in seeing stalk rot already beginning to set in.

Corn on August 2nd in blister stage in which hail stones made kernels all mushy on one side of the ears.

Corn on August 2nd in blister stage in which hail stones made kernels all mushy on one side of the ears.

Corn ear on August 6th.  Notice moldy kernels appearing on side where hail damaged ear.

Corn ear on August 6th. Notice moldy kernels appearing on side where hail damaged ear.

 

Six days after the storm, the good side of the ear that didn't receive hail damage.

Six days after the storm, the good side of the ear that didn’t receive hail damage.

Six days after the storm, the side of the ear that received hail damage.

Six days after the storm, the side of the ear that received hail damage.

33 days after the storm, kernels on the "good" side of ears were beginning to sprout.

33 days after the storm, kernels on the “good” side of ears were beginning to sprout.

33 days after the storm:  Diplodia set in creating light-weight ears and brittle kernels.  Sprouting occurring on damaged kernels on sides of ears.

33 days after the storm: Diplodia set in creating light-weight ears and brittle kernels. Sprouting occurring on damaged kernels on sides of ears.  The presence of mold does not automatically mean a mycotoxin is present. Producers also wondered about the safety of feeding moldy grain to livestock.

Storm Damage Resources

Flooded field

Field flooding occurred in newly planted and newly emerged fields throughout the area after recent rains.

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Large trees were uprooted falling on buildings, homes, and cars in Sutton after the May 11, 2014 tornadoes.

The Mother’s Day 2014 storms caused significant damage in Clay County and other areas of the State.  It never ceases to amaze me how people throughout the area respond to storm damage!  Clay County has had its share, and yet the attitude of those affected has been one of thankfulness-thankfulness that no one was injured and that so many still have their homes in spite of damage.  It’s also wonderful to see people from all over the County and area pull together with each storm-helping each other out bringing themselves and equipment to pick up debris or help however possible.  It’s a blessing to work with and serve the people of this County!

Resources

As clean-up continues, the following are a list of resources that may be helpful to those affected by the storms.  Thoughts and prayers go out to all who were affected!

 

Sprouting Corn Kernels on Hail-Damaged Ears

The latest event in the Clay County storm occurring August 1st has become germination of “good” kernels left on the ears that have been damaged by"Good" side of hail-damaged ear is now sprouting before black layer. hail.  This event of kernel germination prior to harvest is also called “vivipary”.

Typically we wouldn’t see this occur before black layer because of the hormonal balance within the kernels-particularly the balance between gibberellin and abscisic acid.  According to a study by White, et. al (2000), Gibberellin production with the lack of ABA allowed for kernel germination while less Gibberellin and more ABA deterred kernel germination.  At full maturity, very little ABA is left in the kernel (in both corn and soybeans) which allows them to germinate in correct conditions after harvest.  But this can also allow for sprouting in the ear after black layer when corn is still drying down, particularly in tight-husked, upright ears with conditions of high humidity or rain after black layer.  Sprouting under those conditions typically occurs at the base of the ear first.

Why are kernels sprouting before we’ve reached black layer?

That’s a good question.  I haven’t found much in the way of scientific explanation other than the thought that the hormonal balance of the kernels can be altered by physical damage from hail, bird feeding, and grain mold.  Some ear mold fungi also produce gibberellic acid which can lead to a hormonal balance shift in these ears stimulating germination.  I also haven’t observed that this is hybrid-dependent and am finding as much as 25-50% sprouted ears in various areas of hail-damaged fields.

What can you do now?Ear damage by hail and sprouting occurring before black layer.

Make sure your crop insurance adjuster is aware of the situation and make sure to submit samples for kernel damage due to mold, sprouting, and check for mycotoxins prior to harvest.

The local co-op may or may not choose to accept the load depending on percent damage and the standards they need to follow.  If the load is rejected, contact your crop insurance agent to determine your next step.  DO NOT bin the grain on your farm until you contact your insurance agent as they have specific rules that need to be followed in the case of grain rejected due to mycotoxins or kernel damage from storms.

Sprouted kernels lead to higher kernel damage and more fines in a load.  Keys for harvest will include harvesting early, getting corn dried down to 14%, potentially drying at a high temperature to kill the sprout, screening out fines, and monitoring stored grain closely for hot spots, mold, and additional sprouting grain.

You can also choose not to take it to grain right now, and honestly, that may be the best option for several of the hail-damaged fields.  Silage is still an option and it would be recommended to sample the green chop going into the silage pit for potential mycotoxins.  Mycotoxin level does not change with fermentation so cattle feeders would have a good idea of any mycotoxin levels if sampling was done in this manner.  See this post for additional information on making silage.

Additional information:Diplodia and other ear mold fungi on hail-damaged ears.  Now sprouting is occurring before black layer.

Du-Pont Pioneer.  (2007).  Field Facts:  Pre-mature Germination of Corn Kernels.

Nielsen, R.L. (2012).  Premature Corn Kernel Sprouting (aka Vivipary).  Corny News Network, Purdue University.

White et. al.  (2000).  Gibberellins and Seed Development in Maize. II. Gibberellin Synthesis Inhibition Enhances Abscisic Acid Signaling in Cultured Embryos.  Plant Physiology Vol. 122 no. 4 pg. 1089-1098.

Wiebold, B. (2009). Wet Weather Can Cause Seeds to Sprout before Harvest. Integrated Pest & Crop Management Newsletter, Univ of Missouri.

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