As rains continue to plague Indiana's corn growers in 1996, let's review some of the things that have been covered in recent weeks.
During the week of June 2, growers in the northern third of Indiana and eastcentral Indiana should be planting hybrids with relative maturity no later than relative maturities of about '97 days'. After June 9, growers should switch to soybean because of the risk of fall frost damage to immature corn.
Growers in westcentral and central Indiana should switch to relative maturities of about '110-113 days' during the week of June 2 and relative maturities of about '106 days' during the week of June 9. After about June 16, growers should switch to soybean because of the risk of fall frost damage to immature corn.
Southcentral and southeast Indiana should switch to relative maturities of about '115 days' during the week of June 2, relative maturities of about '113 days' during the week of June 9, and relative maturities of about '106 days' during the week of June 16. Southwest Indiana can continue planting full season corns through about mid-June, then switch to relative maturities of about '113 days' during the week of June 16.
From here on, corn planting is more important than fertilizer applications. If possible, postpone nitrogen application to corn fields until after planting is finished. If soil test levels are adequate or better, consider eliminating the use of starter fertilizer this year and save yourself some time during the planting operation.
If you already have applied fertilizer nitrogen this spring and are wondering what is left and how much additional nitrogen you may want to apply, consider using the presidedress nitrate soil test to assess the amount of nitrogen remaining in a field after all this rain.
Don't monkey with seeding rates just because of the delayed planting. Optimum plant populations for later planting are similar to early planting. If anything, seeding rates could be adjusted downward five percent or so to compensate for likely better germination and stand establishment in warmer soils.
Don't let delayed planting influence your choice of seeding depth. The primary consideration is to ensure the seed is planted in uniform soil moisture conditions. Remember that soils can dry very fast this time of year. Don't make the mistake of planting too shallow and ending up with uneven germination because of fast drying surface soils. A seeding depth of 1.5 inches is fairly all-purpose, with deeper seeding if necessary to reach uniform soil moisture.
Eliminate any unnecessary tillage trips before planting, including reworking 'stale' seedbeds. This will save you time and possibly avoid compacting fields any more than necessary.
Return to the the Chat 'n Chew Cafe.
The Corn Growers Guidebook , a WWW resource for corn management systems in Indiana and the eastern CornBelt.
Purdue University Agronomy Extension WWW Home Page.
Purdue Agronomy On-Line! , Purdue's Agronomy Department WWW Home Page.