Most of Mississippi's corn crop is rated good to excellent as the crop moves through the late stages of vegetative development, according to the Mississippi Field Office of USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service.

So what can growers do to build upon the solid start they’ve made with the 2010 corn crop? Avoid stress where possible, says Erick Larson, Extension grains specialist with Mississippi State University, writing in the latest issue of the Mississippi Crop Situation Newsletter.

“If you made sensible cropping decisions, executed timely and precise practices and delivered adequate inputs for production, the table is already set,” says Larson. “The foundation for high corn yields is extensive root systems and uniform stands, where plants have plenty of resources and equal ability to utilize them.”

Larson says corn’s determinant growth habit means it possesses tremendous productivity that is greatest when the seed germinates.

“Any stress endured during the season permanently reduces productivity. In other words, growing high corn yields is somewhat like running a drag race against the clock. Not only is a mistake going to cost you performance, but each slip-up essentially lowers the governor on the engine further.

For more information about finishing the race on this year’s corn and a number of other topics about crop production, go to http://deltafarmpress.com/images/mcs7-10.pdf.