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Dry weather continues to sap yield potential from the Mid-South corn crop.
There was a lot more May-planted corn this spring, which could bring more problems as the season progresses.
Irrigation is running at full speed in dry areas, but even the irrigated crop is needing a rain.
“We’ve had a very challenging springtime,” said Erick Larson, Extension grain specialist, Mississippi State University. “The southern part of the state has been substantially drier than the northern parts. The Delta region of Mississippi was planted on time for the most part, “except for a few counties just south of Memphis, where floodwater caused a few issues.”
If dry conditions continue, “it’s going to put a lot of demand on our irrigation scheduling through the rest of the season, and it will likely reduce our production potential unless we have a little moisture to help us out.”
Larson advises irrigators to “probe the soil and pay close attention to the soil moisture levels. Try to irrigate relative to those soil moisture levels. Don’t just adhere to a weekly schedule.”
Larson said dryland corn in central and south Mississippi “is in a real perilous condition, with a very low yield potential expected. Hopefully, it pollinates and rains sometime soon to help it fill out some kernels.”
There are also concerns about late-planted dryland corn in the northeast part of the state. “It’s gone well into May for a lot of acres and has a long way to go before tasseling. It’s wilted and relatively small right now. It could respond to a timely rainfall, if we get one within the next two or three weeks.”
Larson says late-planted corn “needs to be scouted for insects. There may be issues with armyworms or corn borers coming into play that you might not have to worry as much about with a normal-planted crop.”
For more information on late-season planting and crop management see http://www.mississippi-crops.com/2011/06/10/after-the-flood-row-crop-replanting/.