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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.
Angela McClure, corn and soybean specialists for the University of Tennessee, says the state’s corn crop “is looking okay. We’ve probably had more May-planted corn than we had hoped for this year. We had too many wet days in April and early May.”
Some corn planted in late March and early April “is getting ready to tassel now.”
Much of the west Tennessee area received between 0.3 inch and 0.5 inch of rainfall Saturday (June 11), “which will help. But we certainly do need some more rain.”
McClure says west Tennessee corn producers with later-planted corn should scout for gray leaf spot, “especially if they planted fairly late into May. In areas where growers have access to aerial application, we may have a few more acres sprayed with a fungicide.”
McClure says growers are concerned about aflatoxin in corn “because we had more show up last year than we were used to seeing. We’ve had more calls about the use of Afla-Guard on fields. It’s an early application well ahead of tasseling, and there’s no way to predict whether we will have conditions that favor disease at tasseling. So target fields that you feel would be most likely to have a problem, like fields that had high levels of aflatoxin last year.”