Crops are maturing quickly this fall. Although some farmers already have begun harvesting their crops, it will be about two weeks before harvest is in full swing across Latham Country. One reason for early harvest is to prevent lodging and minimize grain loss. This 2011 corn crop was under quite a lot of stress due to extreme heat and dry weather, especially in the later part of the growing season. The more stress the corn is under, the more stalk rot problems.
“Now is a good time to go out and check some of these fields,” said Iowa State University Extension field agronomist Jim Fawcett in a recent Wallaces Farmer article. “With your thumb and finger, just pinch the lower part of stalk and see if it is mushy or hard. Try to make some decisions about prioritizing your harvesting. Are there some cornfields that look they should be harvested first, to try to prevent lodging as much as possible?”