Farmers throughout the Four State area received anywhere from 6 to 15 inches of rain last month, an opportune weather event that MFA regional agronomist Shannon McClintock said could mean perfect conditions for corn perfectionists.

“The corn overall looks really good this year,” McClintock said. “We’ve got

“It’s July and this is the first time in the last few years that I’ve seen corn that is dark green from top to bottom,” McClintock said. “It just isn’t showing a lot of stress right now.”

After rain caused issues for corn producers in 2019 and 2020, the 2021 growing season has begun with milder overall weather and more timely rains.

“Most of the corn was pollinating last week, so we have started the reproductive stages,” McClintock said. “They have started, really, the most stressful time in a plant’s life cycle and the rain we received was as ideal as possible.”

McClintock said the rain helped to build up moisture in the soil profile just ahead of grain fill, which is the stage in which corn uses the most water.

Reproductive stages like grain fill and pollination are also some of the most disease susceptible period’s in a corn crop’s growing cycle — something producers tried to protect as disease reports threaten this year’s crop.

“I think the first reports of Southern rust came out of Wilson County this last weekend over the Fourth of July,” McClintock said. “And it is a huge concern — just because our corn looks so good right now.”

McClintock said many producers would choose to apply a fungicide application, especially since the reports are a little early compared to previous years and occurred in the middle of the reproductive cycle. The promise of good corn yields and high prices helps influence those decisions.

Soybeans

While corn producers rejoiced at the amount and timing of June’s rainfall, double crop soybean producers struggling to get a crop planted behind wheat had a different reaction.

“Full season beans and corn very much needed that rain,” McClintock said. “The double crop beans that come in behind wheat kind of took the blunt end of that rainfall.”

McClintock said he has seen a good number of emergence issues in double crop soybeans, especially in fields planted right before the heaviest of the rain showers.

“We were going from a pretty dry spell to all of a sudden getting all of this rain,” McClintock said. “The beans that were planted, just weren’t planted in ideal conditions and the result of that has been some emergence and potential replant issues on the double crop beans.”

The biggest issue in a soybean replant scenario is one full season soybean producers have already encountered — access to seed and chemical products.

“The biggest issue in soybeans right now is weed control,” McClintock said. “I know of several product shortages and of course the cutoff date was June 30, and we knew it was coming but it still felt like there was some short delivery there.”

McClintock said that although he was able to meet his clients’ requests in part with new generic brands and through different seed solutions, he does not foresee 2021 being the end of the supply issues.

“I think we’re still dealing with the repercussions of shutting down the plants last summer,” McClintock said. “I don’t know if it will continue in 2022, but I would plan for the worst just in case. The demand continues to be high and I doubt suppliers will be able to catch right back up.”

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