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Published 3 September

Corn Fields Shutting Down


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R.L. (Bob) Nielsen
Agronomy Dept., Purdue Univ.
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054
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Fields of corn around Indiana, especially early-planted ones, are in the process of shutting down for the season. While only 3 % of the state's crop was estimated to be mature (i.e., kernel black layer) as of the week ending 31 Aug, 41 % of the crop was estimated to be at dent stage or beyond (Indiana Ag Stats Service, 2 Sep 2003).

The onset of maturity is naturally accompanied by an eventual senescence of the entire solar harvesting "machinery", but some fields appear to be shutting down prematurely and deserve to be monitored for potential stalk health issues prior to harvest (Nielsen, 2003). The short-term forecast for cool evening temperatures in the mid-50's or lower throughout much of the state the remainder of this week will further accelerate premature senescence of these stressed fields.

Plant stresses contributing to the premature "shutdown" of some fields include:

Identifying the cause(s) of premature "shutdown" this year may help you identify management decisions for future years. For example, if leaf disease(s) is the primary culprit this year, then be sure to include disease tolerance/resistance as one of your primary hybrid decision factors next year.

Related References:

For other Corny News Network articles, browse through the CNN Archives at

For other information about corn, take a look at the Corn Growers' Guidebook at

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