Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Twisted Whorl Syndrome of Corn

Corn Twisting?

            There has been a recent concern about corn that is showing up in fields in the Northern parts of Illinois and the Southern parts of Wisconsin that is called, “twisted whorl syndrome”. This is seen when corn is in its younger stages, (V3-V6), and there is an extreme change in weather. Often, it is when the weather goes from cold and wet to sunny, with warm temperatures. The reason you see "twisted whorls" is because the corn is going from a time where development was slow to a time of fast development due to the warm weather. You will often see it starting with the fifth leaf, where the whorl is extremely tight and the plant is bent over. Below is an example of what was just mentioned. 

"To put in simple terms, the corn plant can’t keep up with its own growth. It’s like when you were young and growing, then had shin splits from stretching your tendons. It hurt, but you grew out of it."

This syndrome is not yet fully understood by agronomists and crop scientists. For some unknown reason, the whorled leaves just don’t spread to allow the new leaves to emerge properly, which causes the plant to angle because of the pressure from the new leaves. 

Don’t blame herbicides! It’s always easy to blame these symptoms on the herbicides, but with the weather that has occurred recently, this is the best explanation of what’s going on in your field. 

Should farmers be worried? Walking out into the field and seeing this might not be the most pleasant thing you see all day, but give it time. In time, the corn tightly rolled whorl will unfurl and growth will resume as normal. Farmers have seen very little yield affect from this in the past and it’s nothing to get your underwear in a “whorl” about. To learn more: http://www.agry.purdue.edu/ext/corn/news/timeless/TwistedWhorls.html

-Austin Kocher, Illinois Burrus Intern

Monday, May 23, 2016

Uneven Emergence in Soybeans: Planting Depth Could be to Blame

Most don’t understand that soybeans tend to be sensitive to planting depth. When you start out planting soybeans, not only do you want to plant them in the right conditions, but you also want to check your planter depth! According to a recent Michigan State survey, around 20% of the soybeans planted with a drill, were planted to their intended depth. The other 68% of soybeans planted with a drill were either been planted too deep or too shallow. 

The approximate soil planting depth for soybeans is around 1 to 1.5 inches. If a soybean is planted too deep, the cotyledon may be slow or not able to break through to the soil surface. In some cases, deeper planted soybeans can be more stressed under less than ideal growing conditions, and could be more prone to herbicide injury.

When planting soybeans at early planting dates, within high residue, in fine textured soils and with high moisture, you should plant soybeans at around 1 to 1.5 inches. There are some instances you may want to plant deeper such as: late planting, course textured soils, and dry soils.  

Seed size is also a major factor when pondering planting depth.  If your seed is larger, then it has more energy for the cotyledon to break through the soil surface, but if it is a smaller seed, you will really need to watch planting depth. 

Planters do offer better precision when it comes to the planting depth, when compared to drills.  No matter what planting equipment you use, you always need to check your planting depth and be sure to always consider planting conditions and seed size for optimum yield.

For more information, you can check out Soybean Planting Depth Matters

Blog by: Maggie Prather, Burrus Agronomy Intern and Stephanie Porter, Burrus Sales Agronomist