by Zach Thompson

Are we going to make it to maturity??  This is a question I have been getting a lot lately.  We need to ask a couple important questions.  When was your planting date? What hybrid was planted?

A planting date of 4/22/2017 has accumulated a total of 2,073 heat units in Lewiston which is 97 fewer than normal.  A planting date of 5/6/2017 has accumulated a total of 1,993 heat units which is 88 fewer than normal.  Comparing to last year at this time we were 152 heat units above.   We tasseled close to the same time last year, but we were in a week to 10 days earlier.  Last year we had exceptionally good yields.  The weather man was saying cooler this week and it has been high’s in the 80’s. This year will be different no doubt about that.  We need to just wait and see!!!

In our area, we plant hybrids from 94 to 104-day relative maturity.  I have been hearing a lot of chatter about the guys that planted “late” (103-105 RM) corn are going to have poor test weight and wetter corn!  Who knows?! It’s too early to tell.  The GDU’s to black layer on 46-36 compared to 54-38 are 200 GDU’s apart.  That is 12-18 days difference in the time it is going to black layer.  In my opinion, it is not that significant.  Now if we were going to get an early frost that will be a different story.  There is no doubt that the later maturity corn is going to be wetter, but what is the yield advantage going to be??

With the cool and wet spring like we had there will be a lot of stalk issues out there. At our customer appreciation, Jon Zuk cut open some plants and you could see some discoloring at the crown and some lesions on the stalk possibly from the hail.   Not everyone sprayed a fungicide.  Another issue to look for will be root worm feeding.  We had the interns dig a lot of roots and we found reasons to be concerned.  These are some issues we should look for in your fields to see what we can improve on next year.