July 29th, 2022
by Andrew Blomme on 7/29/2022
July 29th, 2022
Ear Development and Water/Heat Stress
The 7 day forecast is really going to heat up for us. With that being the case I have fielded several questions about how water stress and heat stress can affect ear development at this stage of the game.
First off, we are almost done pollinating in the area. We had ideal conditions for pollination over the past 10 days with little stress. The next process is kernel formation and development. Severe heat stress in the R2 (Blister) and R3 (Milk) stages can lead to kernels abortion, typically towards the tip of the ear. I saw this a fair bit in 2020 where the whole ear was fertilized in July but then it was tipped back in August. The picture below shows an example of this. The kernels that are undersized and reddish are kernels that were pollinated and later aborted.
At the moment I don't think conditions will be severe enough that we will see this phenomenon wide spread, but there are some dry pockets of our area that we may see this.
We are at the point where it becomes very obvious that not all corn hybrids are created equal. It is very easy to note the genetic and phenotypic differences between different hybrids. Root structure, leaf size and orientation, disease tolerance, stress tolerance, ear size and development are all factors that are unique to each individual hybrid and each of these factors effect the yield we see in the fall.
Comparing hybrids out in the field is how I spend the majority of July, August, and September. If you would like to walk through your farms or a plot with Lou or myself, reach out to us and let us know. Now is a great opportunity to get out and compare hybrids while there is still plenty to look at. A lot of the things we can see right now won't be observable from the combine cab this fall.
Wrapping Up Fungicide
We've had a great window to get fungicide applied in our area. This past week especially, could not have been any better. That being said we are quickly approaching the end of our window to spray. The helicopter crews will be moving on from our area by this time next week. If you want to spray and haven't reach out to Mike, please do. Now is the 11th hour; don't dilly dally.