Corn Scouting Checklist: Post-Emergence

IMG 9596Early season scouting can help fine-tune practices for in-season crop management and for the next year’s growing season. Our Corn Product Manager, Lyle Marcus, has created a scouting checklist for you to take to the field.

  1. Planting Furrow
    • Did the planting furrow close well?
    • Is there any sidewall compaction created from wet soils?
    • What can be improved for next season?
  1. Uniform Emergence Across the Field
    • Is the planting depth correct?
    • Was seed placed in dry soil in some areas of the field?
  1. Identify the Growth Stage
    • First leaf, sometimes called the ‘True Leaf’ has a rounded tip.  All others that follow have pointed tips and a leaf collar where the base of the leaf attaches to the stem/stalk.  Always count the true leaf in your staging. For example, three leaves with collars plus the True Leaf is 4-leaf corn.
    • Correct staging is very important for herbicide applications.
  1. Soil-Borne Insects
    • Any seedling damage present?
    • Use a corn pest management calendar to gauge approximate timing that different insects will begin to emerge.

Note: Many soil-borne insects are controlled by your seed treatment, but one big threat can be cutworm. Black cutworm can be devastating to a stand of young plants, but careful monitoring allows timely insecticide treatment to reduce size of affected areas.

  1. Fertilizer Injury
    • N or K fertilizers with high salt content can damage young roots. If found, what can be done to prevent the issue in the future?  One suggestion is placement – final spring tillage pass can incorporate this evenly in soils.
    • Anhydrous injury
      • Did planting occur at the application pass and how do you prevent next season?
      • When side-dressing, escaping gasses will kill leaf tissue.  If preparing to side-dress, be sure soil is in proper condition to seal well.
  1. Pre-emerge Herbicide
    • Scout for weed escapes. What follow-up applications are needed? Keep your crop staging in mind for many of the available post options.

Keep these notes for next season. In-season note taking will point you in the right direction for the next cropping season. Give us a call with any questions at 1-877-GO-LATHAM – we are happy to help!