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Agronomy

Effect of Growing Season on Corn Silage Quality

Corn silage quality can vary significantly due to environmental differences that may occur from year to year. Multi-year forage data analysis (2011-2014) from independent testing laboratories in the U.S. demonstrate that corn silage quality over the last four years has varied considerably as indicated by starch percent, fiber levels and fiber digestibility¹’².

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Nitrogen Optimization in Corn

Nitrogen optimization in corn is a complex process involving many variables. The first step to determining which plan is best for each situation includes understanding how timing, rate, source, and method of application can affect your farm. It is also important to understand how to prevent nitrogen loss to the environment. Finally, farmers must determine the amount of nitrogen that maximizes crop yield and profit margin while minimizing environmental losses.

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Managing Corn Plant Health to Help Maximize Yield Potential

Keeping a corn plant healthy and stress free during critical growth stages can help maximize yield potential.  Understanding the significance of the growth stages and the effect of stress during any of the stages can help determine management decisions to improve overall plant health and protect yield potential.

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Irrigation in Corn & Soybean Production

Irrigation makes agriculture possible in areas previously unsuitable for intensive crop production; water is transported to crops to increase yield, keep crops cool under excessive heat and prevent freezing.1   Irrigation has become an important tool for crop production in many parts of the world, including certain regions of Western Canada.

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The Effects of Flooding in Corn

The effects of flooding on yield potential depend on the developmental stage of the corn plant and the duration of the temperature during flooding. In order for a corn plant to survive, it needs oxygen.  Corn roots can experience depleted oxygen conditions if flooding is continuous for more than 48 hours.

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Hail Damage to Young Corn

Recently, severe storms came across parts of Eastern Canada bringing hail that, in localized areas, damaged corn. After the initial shock of viewing a severely damaged corn field has diminished, the process of determining the extent of the damage will begin. Yield loss from hail damage results from leaf area reduction and plant bruising. The severity of each of these factors is important to accurately assess the extent of damage and estimate potential yield loss.

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Insect

Scouting for Corn Rootworm

There are two common species of Corn Rootworm present in Eastern Canada; Northern Corn Rootworm and Western Corn Rootworm.  Although Western is most predominant, Northern does exist as a pest.  As their name implies, these pests target corn.

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Foliar Disease in Corn

Corn fields across much of Eastern Canada may have experienced one or multiple post-pollination stresses.  Post-pollination stresses such as hail damage, cloudy and cool weather, and heavy foliar disease pressure may limit photosynthesis during grain fill.  This publication describes foliar diseases that have the potential to infect Eastern Canada corn fields.

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Corn Ear Moulds

Corn is susceptible to a number of ear mould fungi that can reduce yield potential, grain quality, and feed value. Damage potential is greatest in the period from silking to harvest, when above average rainfall occurs. It is often coupled with kernel damage from insects, birds, hail, or early frost.  Management of infected grain includes disease identification, attention to harvest, and storage considerations.

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Goss's Wilt

Since its identification in Nebraska in 1969, Goss’s Wilt has spread through Colorado and Kansas in the Western United States Corn Belt, and now occurs in several Midwestern states and parts of Canada.  Growers are advised to watch for this disease as they scout their fields.

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Northern Corn Leaf Blight

Northern corn leaf blight (NCLB) is caused by the fungus Exserohilum turcicum. This disease can be found in corn growing areas with humid climates and may cause significant yield losses when moderate temperatures (65 to 85° F) and extended periods of dew prevail.

Yield losses of more than 30% have been reported when lesions are present on upper leaves at silking.  In addition to grain losses, infected plants may have reduced forage value and be predisposed to stalk rots.

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Common Smut

Common smut, caused by the fungus Ustilago zeae or Ustilago maydis, can be found in corn fields every year, but does not typically cause major economic damage. However, when the three parts of the disease triangle come together, (the fungus, susceptible host, and favorable environmental conditions) high levels of infection may occur, which can cause potential yield loss.

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