corn tassels

Due to corn and soybean commodity prices, many growers are seeking to manage their acres more in-tensely for the 2008 season.

Managing these production acres begins now, with growers reviewing the agronomic characteristics of seed purchased for 2008, says Julie Abendroth, University of Missouri Extension agronomy specialist.

Fungicide applications to corn at tasseling were promoted during the 2007 season, with yield response to the fungicide varying based upon the location, hybrid and environment. In preparation for the 2008 season, growers are encouraged to review the hybrid characteristics ahead of time, with attention specifically focused on the hybrids’ susceptibility to gray leaf spot (GLS). Fungicide applications have shown the greatest yield potential when applied to corn after tasseling and on hybrids with high susceptibility to GLS.

In evaluating soybean yield potential, growers are encouraged to access the Soybean 2007 Missouri Crop Performance results, which were recently made available. The variety trial data is presented by location and region, allowing growers to review variety performance at specific locations and also by region. The Soybean 2007 Missouri Crop Performance report is available at your local University of Missouri Extension Center.

In reference to nitrogen management in corn, several growers have questioned the stability of fall nitrogen applications in relation to current soil temperatures.

Growers are generally encouraged to apply nitrogen later in the fall to decrease the potential for over-winter nitrogen loss, says Abendroth. A 50° rule has often been recommended for northern Missouri, with anhydrous applications recommended once the average soil temperature at six inches was below 50°.

However, MU researchers recently completed an evaluation of soil temperature data across Missouri, Illinois and Iowa. John Lory and Peter Scharf, MU Extension fertility specialists, suggest using a 40° rule in northern Missouri, to increase the likelihood of the anhydrous making it through the winter. Addition of a nitrification inhibitor, such as N-Serve, would also increase this likelihood. Lory and Scharf recommend growers minimize potential nitrogen losses by delaying application until the six-inch soil temperature approaches 40° and by including a nitrification inhibitor with the anhydrous. As of November 29, the soil temperature at 6” below soybean residue at Corning was 38° and 40° at both St. Joseph and Brunswick.

Abendroth points out that the MU Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) recently released a report regarding crop production costs and outlook. Interested growers can access the report at As noted by FAPRI, in 2002, the typical seed corn cost ranged from $75 to $120 in Missouri, while the price range in fall 2007 has been $115 to $260 per bag. The report discusses numerous factors associated with the increased cost of production for soybeans, corn and wheat.

For more information, contact Julie Abendroth, University of Missouri Extension agronomy specialist, at 816-776-6961 or or visit extension.missouri. edu.

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