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Growers Should Monitor Fields for Stalk Quality Issues



(NAFB)--Many different stresses to the corn plant throughout the growing season can contribute to lower stalk quality at harvest time. DuPont Pioneer Agronomists say cool spring weather patterns, drought stress, reduced sunlight, insect and disease pressure and hail damage have each taken a toll on plant health this year. Plants may have developed shallower root systems because of the wet, cool spring - which likely caused a reduction in nutrient uptake. The cooler temperatures early in the season also caused reduced plant lignin necessary for stalk strength. DuPont Pioneer Agronomists also note that prolonged cloudy conditions during ear fill can result in severely depleted stalk reserves and stalk rot organisms can invade weakened and dying plant tissues. DuPont Pioneer encourages growers to monitor their fields as harvest approaches to identify stalk quality problems and prepare to harvest before field losses can occur. Pinch the stalk at the first or second elongated internode above the ground to detect weak stalks. If the stalk collapses - advanced stages of stalk rot are indicated 

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