By Orvin Bontrager
Central Nebraska is ending up dry now with harvest starting on the mid group II soybeans. Early yield reports are excellent with whole field averages in the mid 70’s bu/ac including the non irrigated corners. Unless one had earlier hail damage, the soybeans appear to be having a very good year.
Some ear rot is showing up on corn hybrids that have a softer kernel and tighter husk. This is a quality and yield concern. If deterioration continues before the grain is harvested, more of the effected kernels will be thrown over by the combine. Storage of the crop will be less than ideal. Pictured are some ears observed several days ago with kernel rotting from possibly Fusarium pathogens. The kernels were still not quite at the black layer stage or physiologically mature yet.
As a whole the corn is finishing with excellent plant health. Many fields were treated post tassel with a fungicide. From late August to the present, the humidity dropped and we have experienced cool nights and sunny days. This has put less stress on the corn plants to finish well.
Goss’s wilt is a predominant disease issue that will have to be addressed next year again. Somewhat susceptible hybrids showed symptoms even on rotated soybean ground. One will need to watch corn hybrid selection very carefully on continuous corn fields for 2012.
Warmer temperatures are needed to help finish the corn and aid in some field dry down before harvesting. We are running significantly behind the early harvest of 2010.