North Dakota Corn Is Behind-schedule Overall, But Warm Weather, Sun, Could Catch It Up


In the North Dakota State University  Weekly Crop & Pest Report, issued today, agronomist Joel Ransom tells us that corn planting has moved forward at a

record pace, though recent storms have stopped some farmers again. Here is a picture of a field of corn west of Buffalo, N.D., in western Cass County, where a friend gave a Sunday afternoon crop tour. The farmer, in this case, says he was pleased with the progress of corn on May 26. Soybeans were planted. Dry edible beans were about to be planted.

Some farmers in the area seemed unhappy with the crop progress, the farmer said, but he thought things were looking good.

 Ransom sees it on a larger scale, and puts it this way: “On average,

corn has been planted later than is ideal,” Ransom wrote in his report. “Earlier planted

fields are now beginning to emerge.”

Corn requires about  120 GDDs to emerge (a bit later if planted deeper than 2

inches or for fields with moderate to heavy residue cover), he says.

Corn growing degree days can be used to predict

emergence and leaf appearance in most environments.

Data from North Dakota suggest that new leaves appear after about

70 GDDs. So corn planted on the 1st of May should be at

about the “two collar leaf stage,” while corn planted on May 15should just be emerging.

“GDDs are running behind

normal for the latter half of May, which is good news for

the small grains, but not for corn,” Ransom says. “Not only is above-ground

development of corn delayed by cool weather, but the root

system is also impacted. It is not unusual for corn to appear

yellow and nutrient deficient when soil temperatures hover

around 50 degrees.”

Extensive root development is needed

for the corn plant to find and take up phosphorous. Even

when a “pop-up” fertilizer is applied, the plants may appear

yellow until temperatures warm up and root growth

increases. The best cure for yellow corn seedlings at this

time is a good dose of warm weather.