Observations from the Field • 9.16.16

John Brien

Observations from the Field

view photos

The corn crop is maturing quickly across the state and with maturity comes some unique and different events occurring out in the corn field.  There are currently three events, stalk quality issues, diplodia stalk rot and inconsistent ear size, that have peaked many growers interest and may need a little more explanation and insight.

Stalk Quality Issues:

There are few things in a corn grower’s life that are more frustrating than down corn.  Down corn is difficult and very time consuming to harvest and really tries patience and tempers.  The goal is always to have corn standing at harvest, but unfortunately it is not always possible.

Stalk quality issues are showing up in most of the April planted corn fields and will be showing up in the late May planted corn fields shortly.  How and why they are showing up is very important to understand. Simply put the corn plants only goal is to produce an ear of corn, period.  Therefore the corn plant will do whatever is necessary to ensure that an ear is produced.  During this grain fill period (the time after pollination to black layer) all corn has gone through some type of serve stress (drought, heat and/or too much water) and through that stress the corn plant still needed to provide nutrition for the corn ear, so it robbed it from the stalk and the roots.  Once the corn plant runs short on nutrients (water included) it shuts down its defense mechanisms to conserve resources.  Once the defenses are down, root rot pathogens quickly begin invading the roots and move up the stalk.  Once into the stalk the pathogens attack the nodes and stop the movement of water and other nutrients from moving within the plant.  This process leads to stalks being cannibalized and damaged and leaving the corn crop at risk for falling or being blown down.

By doing a quick survey in a field a grower can determine the amount of stalk damage that is present to aid in harvest timing questions.  By walking through the field and “pinching” the lower stalk, a grower can determine the strength of the stalks.  Also a simple “push” test can be performed by pushing the stalks to a 45⁰ angle and if the stalks return upright they are okay, but if they continue to fall over, stalk quality is a concern.  If more than 25% of the stalks shows stalk quality issues, early harvest should be considered to ensure the best harvetability possible.

Diplodia Ear Rot:

Diplodia ear rot is a relative easy ear rot to recognize.  The husks will be a bleached and/or brownish color.  Inside the husk, the ear will have a grayish-white to grayish brown mold on and between the kernels.  Typically the mold will begin at the bottom of the ear and will its way to the tip.  Occasionally the mold will start at the middle or top of the ear.

Diplodia overwinters on corn residue and is the source of infection.  Corn is also the only host for Diplodia ear rot pathogens.  The infection occurs when the spores are transferred either by rain or wind from the soil up to the ear.  Typically dry weather followed by wet conditions around silking most favor Diplodia infection.

There are no mycotoxins or vomitoxins associated with Diplodia ear rot.

The lighter kernels associated with this disease will lower the test weight of the grain.  Also due to the lightweight and fragile nature of Diplodia infected ears, more cobs and kernels will tend to ground up and/or present in the grain sample.  There is also a concern with fines being created with more handling through grain systems that can interfere with airflow during aeration.

To improve storability of the grain, dry the grain below 14% moisture and cool it below 50⁰ as quickly as possible.  Keep grain stored during the cold months of the year and have it removed prior to summer.

The best practice to eliminate the disease for the future is to use tillage to decompose the corn residue to eliminate its host.

Sporadic Ear Size in April Planted Corn:

Driving down the road and looking at corn fields during May, growers could of gotten a false sense of how uniformly their corn field actually emerged.  Most of all the corn fields that were planted in April looked similar to the field in the picture.  Driving down the road, it looked uniform and appeared that the emergence was more than acceptable.  Unfortunately upon a closer examination of the field, there were many plants that did not emerge uniformly and many fields took 2-4 weeks for complete emergence to occur.  Upon closer examination, growers would have seen plants that look like those in close up picture. While the plant count was there at the end, the true meaning of this sporadic emergence was not fully seen until ears began to develop.  Emergence timing is critical to the plant determining how large of an ear and factory it will produce.  The first plant that emerges carries the potential for the largest ear while the last plant to emerge produces the smallest ear.  All the plants that emerge between the first and last will continually decrease in size.  The resulting effect of non-uniform emergence is showing up ahead of combines with a large variation in ear size within a row.  The following picture is very typical of what growers are experiencing as they walk their April planted corn. 

Image 1

Stalk Quality Issues

Image 2

Stalk damage

Image 3

Diplodia Ear Rot

Image 4

Diplodia ear rot

Image 5

Typical April planted field as viewed from the road

Image 6

Up close look at the actual plant to plant differences caused by sporadic emergence

Image 7

Different ear sizes, shapes and yield potential resulting from uneven emergence of April planted corn

PRIVACY POLICY | Contact us for more information

AgriGold has drafted this document, which details how we gather and disseminate information, in an effort to demonstrate our strong commitment to online privacy. Please contact us if you have any questions about our privacy policy.

Use of Internet Protocol Address

We use your Internet protocol (IP) address for several reasons: to help diagnose problems with our server, to administer our Web site, to help identify you, and to gather broad demographic information.

Use of Registration Information

Our site's registration area requires customers to supply contact information, such as name and e-mail address, and demographic information. We use this information to send updated information to you regarding current events and the status our organization. However, users may opt out of - or opt in to these promotional e-mail messages at any time. (See Opt Out/Opt In, below.)


AgriGold features security measures on our host’s servers to protect the loss, misuse or alteration of information placed under our control.

Children's Guidelines

We do not collect or use any online contact information or identifiable off-line contact information about a child without parental consent. We do not distribute personally identifiable information about children without parental consent. We do not give children the ability to post or distribute personal information without prior consent. We do not entice children with games or contests that would encourage them to disclose personal information.

Opt Out/Opt In

AgriGold allows users to opt out of receiving e-mail from us. To opt out of our mailing list you can send e-mail to a remove mailing list. To Opt Out/Opt In, please use the Contact Us form on the site.

Correct/Update Personal Information

AgriGold allows you to change or modify your personal information by using the Contact Us form on the website.


This site contains links to other sites. AgriGold is not responsible for the content or privacy practices of these sites.

Contact Us

If you have any additional questions or concerns about our privacy policy, please contact us:

AgriGold Hybrids
5381 Akin Road
St. Francisville, IL 62460

AgriGold® and Design, AgReliant Genetics® and Design, AdvantageAcre® , We Know Corn, Corn Specialist, and Giants are trademarks and servicemarks of AgReliant Genetics, LLC.


LEGAL INFORMATION | Contact us for more information

All orders and sales are subject to the AgriGold® Terms and Conditions of Sale, which include but are not limited to the Limitation of Warranty & Remedy and Agronomic Zone and Planting Year. All Terms and Conditions of Sale are subject to change from time to time without prior notice. For the most up to date Terms and Conditions of Sale, see the AgriGold® website at www.agrigold.com.

Monsanto Company is a member of Excellence Through Stewardship® (ETS). Monsanto products are commercialized in accordance with ETS Product Launch Stewardship Guidance, and in compliance with Monsanto’s Policy for Commercialization of Biotechnology-Derived Plant Products in Commodity Crops. This product has been approved for import into key export markets with functioning regulatory systems. Any crop or material produced from this product can only be exported to, or used, processed or sold in countries where all necessary regulatory approvals have been granted. It is a violation of national and international law to move material containing biotech traits across boundaries into nations where import is not permitted. Growers should talk to their grain handler or product purchaser to confirm their buying position for this product. Excellence Through Stewardship® is a registered trademark of Excellence Through Stewardship.

B.t. products may not yet be registered in all states. Check with your seed brand representative for the registration status in your state.

IMPORTANT IRM INFORMATION: RIB Complete® corn blend products do not require the planting of a structured refuge except in the Cotton-Growing Area where corn earworm is a significant pest. See the IRM/Grower Guide for additional information. Always read and follow IRM requirements.

DroughtGard® Hybrids with RIB Complete® corn blend the refuge seed may not always contain DroughtGard® Hybrids trait.

ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Roundup Ready® technology contains genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate, an active ingredient in Roundup® brand agricultural herbicides. Agricultural herbicides containing glyphosate will kill crops that are not tolerant to glyphosate.

ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW DIRECTIONS FOR USE ON PESTICIDE LABELING. IT IS A VIOLATION OF FEDERAL AND STATE LAW to use any pesticide product other than in accordance with its labeling. NOT ALL formulations of dicamba or glyphosate are approved for in-crop use with Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans. ONLY USE FORMULATIONS THAT ARE SPECIFICALLY LABELED FOR SUCH USES AND APPROVED FOR SUCH USE IN THE STATE OF APPLICATION. Contact the U.S. EPA and your state pesticide regulatory agency with any questions about the approval status of dicamba herbicide products for in-crop use with Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans.

Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans contains genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate and dicamba. Glyphosate will kill crops that are not tolerant to glyphosate. Dicamba will kill crops that are not tolerant to dicamba. Contact your seed brand dealer or refer to the Technology Use Guide for recommended weed control programs.

XtendiMax® herbicide with VaporGrip® Technology is part of the Roundup Ready® Xtend Crop System and is a restricted use pesticide. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW DIRECTIONS FOR USE ON PESTICIDE LABELING. It is a violation of federal and state law to use any pesticide product other than in accordance with its labeling. XtendiMax® herbicide with VaporGrip® Technology and products with XtendFlex® Technology may not be approved in all states and may be subject to use restrictions in some states. Check with your local product dealer or representative or U.S. EPA and your state pesticide regulatory agency for the product registration status and additional restrictions in your state. For approved tankmix products and nozzles visit XtendiMaxApplicationRequirements.com

Important: Always read and follow label and bag tag instructions; only those labeled as tolerant to glufosinate may be sprayed with glufosinate ammonium based herbicides.

Seed products with the LibertyLink® (LL) trait are resistant to the herbicide glufosinate ammonium, an alternative to glyphosate in corn, and combine high-yielding genetics with the powerful, non-selective, postemergent weed control of Liberty® herbicide for optimum yield and excellent weed control.

Agrisure® Agrisure® Technology incorporated into these seeds is commercialized under license from Syngenta Seeds, Inc. Herculex® Technology incorporated into these seeds is commercialized under license from Dow AgroSciences LLC.

Saltro® is a registered trademark of Syngenta Group Company.

AgReliant Genetics® and Design, Advantage Acre® and Design, AgriGold® and Design, AgriShield®, and Yield Masters Design™ are trademarks of AgReliant Genetics, LLC. Agrisure®, Agrisure Artesian®, Artesian™, Agrisure Viptera®, Avicta®, Cruiser®, and E-Z Refuge® are trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company. Acceleron®, DroughtGard®, Genuity®, RIB Complete and Design®, RIB Complete®, Roundup Ready 2 Xtend®, Roundup Ready 2 Yield®, Roundup Ready 2 Technology and Design®, Roundup Ready®, Roundup®, SmartStax and Design®, SmartStax®, Trecepta®, Trecepta® RIB Complete®, VaporGrip®, VT Double PRO®, and XtendiMax® are trademarks of Bayer Group. FieldView™ is a trademark of The Climate Corporation. ILeVO®, LibertyLink®, Poncho®, VOTiVO®, and the Water Droplet Design® are registered trademarks of BASF Corporation. HERCULEX® and the HERCULEX Shield are trademarks of Dow AgroSciences LLC. Respect the Refuge and Corn Design® and Respect the Refuge® are registered trademarks of National Corn Growers Association. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Important: Always read and follow label instructions. Some products may not be registered for sale or use in all states or counties. Please check with your local extension service to ensure registration status.

Avicta is a Restricted Use Pesticide. For use by certified applicators only. Growers planting Avicta treated seed are not required to be certified applicators. Avicta technology is protected by U.S. Patent No. 6,875,727.

Before opening a bag of seed, be sure to read and understand the stewardship requirements, including applicable refuge requirements for insect resistance management, for the biotechnology traits expressed in the seed set forth in the technology agreement that you sign. By opening and using a bag of seed, you are reaffirming your obligation to comply with those stewardship requirements.

©2019 AgReliant Genetics, LLC

SEED PIRACY STATEMENT: Seed containing a patented trait can only be used to plant a single commercial crop from which seed cannot be saved and replanted. Examples of seed containing a patented trait include but are not limited to Genuity® Roundup Ready 2 Yield® soybeans, and Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans. Additional information and limitations on the use of these products are provided in the Monsanto Technology Stewardship Agreement, the Monsanto Technology Use Guide, and the Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® Soybean Technology Use Guide Supplement. U.S. patents for Monsanto technologies can be found at the following webpage: http://www.monsantotechnology.com