Corn producers in many areas are saying the "top end" may already be lost because of overly wet conditions. I'm certainly no agronomist, but I have several good contacts inside the industry who are very well respected and have taught me a lot through the years. The bottom line is that overly wet soil conditions can create further complications down the road. Here are few insights.
- Roots can fail to develop properly in overly wet soil, causing poor stands and greater chances for injury caused by dry summer conditions or high winds. In simple terms damage to the root system today may not be seen until much later in the later in maturity cycle.
- Restricted root development has also been known to cause a buildup of sugars in the plant. From what I have heard through the years the sugar produced by photosynthesis can start backing up in the stems and leaves because the roots aren't growing fast enough to move the sugars.
- Nitrogen loss or deficiency can obviously be seen in fields that have been hit with too much moisture. With prices below break-even producer may be reluctant to reinvest or side-dress the fields. As we all know lack of good available nitrogen can cause a loss to the top-end of yields.
- Cool to hot weather can also cause complications like "twisted growth." A problem producers have reported being caused by the inability of older leaves to relax quickly enough to allow younger leaves to push up through the center of the whorl. These young leaves are sometimes unable to photosynthesize properly.
- Underwater plants are endanger of complete oxygen loss and photosynthesis completely
stopping. From what I understand many plants can actually survive for several days underwater, but can run into complications further down the road, especially if the ears of the plant are covered with mud or residue from the flooding. I've also been told in the past that death occurs more quickly to plants underwater in warm, sunny weather than it does in cold water. I guess something to do with the hotter temps speed up the processes that uses the plant available and limited supply of remaining oxygen.
- Replanting at this point might be out of the question based on the cost of seed, the current price of corn and the added expenses associated with nitrogen loss and additional pest control. Lets also not forget that soil compaction and other problems associated with “mudding in” corn can create significant yield drag. GET THE DAILY VAN TRUMP REPORT.
A Look inside the weekly corn crop conditions: I was personally a bit surprised to see the USDA's weekly crop condition estimate "unchanged." I was most taken back by the conditions in Iowa improving by +2% to a whopping 82% of the crop now rated "Good-to-Excellent". Maybe I'm missing something, but I'm certainly not hearing or seeing the same thing on my end. In fact I was looking for a -2% decline in Iowa. I thought Missouri and Illinois might also be a bit lower... Minnesota was the big winner with a +3% jump in the overall ratings. I guess we will have to wait and see what next week brings. Below is how we stack up compared to last year: