Syngenta offers way to enhance corn growth through wet seasons

Corn begins to grow most rapidly when stalks are between 6 and 12 inches tall.
Corn begins to grow most rapidly when stalks are between 6 and 12 inches tall. | File photo
Syngenta agronomists recently announced four approaches that Midwestern farmers can use to improve their corn growth despite the lengthy periods of frost and rain.

Growers should be aware of how wet soil can change the growth of corn. When the soil is wet for a long time, there can be flooding, ponding, poor soil aeration, soil compaction, and nitrogen loss. All of these factors can reduce how much corn will grow and yield for the harvest season.

Syngenta recommends managing corn much more carefully throughout wet periods. This should help to prevent loss during the later harvest season. Corn growers should add nitrogen to the soil.

Fields with yellow corn stalks or uneven growth suggest that the grain can still grow through maturity, but it needs extra nutrients. Nitrogen applications are best after the corn has been pollinated.

Farmers are also encouraged to cultivate the corn during its vegetative stages. This is particularly important before “lay-by” because the soil will be dry enough for cultivation. This serves to aerate the ground and encourage the corn roots to grow.

Farmers should also sample their soil to see if the added nitrogen is needed. It is a good idea to do a late-spring test of the soil to see its nitrates. This is just before the corn begins to grow most rapidly, when the stalks are between 6 and 12 inches tall. The soil samples need to be analyzed to determine the nitrogen levels that the plant has to grow.

For a general nitrogen application, between 40 and 50 units are nitrogen should be used as an anhydrous ammonia, urea, or liquid. It is best to plan in such a way that it rains shortly afterwards, washing the nitrogen to the roots.

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