Crop Opportunities - Q&A
Welcome to an early harvest during a drought year in the Midwest! It has been a
hot and dry road and the crops are doing as good as they can in these conditions
as most have, or are rapidly reaching maturity. Many questions are being asked as
we look at some strange happenings in our fields. This letter is an attempt to address
many of these questions.
Q1: What is the black mold that is on my corn? Is it dangerous?
Answer: according to Alison Robertson, ISU, the black mold is saprophytic
fungi – microorganisms that feed on dead plant material. They are not known to produce
toxins, and the harvested grain should look relatively clean. Individuals with allergies
or respiratory problems are encouraged to wear dust masks to reduce breathing in
masses of spores. These saprophytic fungi are a big contributor to the mold portion
of the pollen and mold counts. It is also important to keep combine engines and
can filters clean.
See the full article
and a previous artice
Q2: Are there any other dangerous molds or toxins that may be present?
Answer: Yes. Aflatoxin tops the list. The hot and dry conditions
we experienced during pollination can lead to infection of an olive, green mold
that is called Aspergillus Ear Rot. As the ear rot develops it can produce the toxin,
Aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is a known cancer causing agent. It is very important to identify
the problem in the field, and if detected IMMEDIATELY contact your insurance agent
while the grain is in the field. Once harvested they have no responsibility to assist.
More info below:
Identification of ear molds:
Sampling and analyzing feed info:
Abnormal corn ear poster that is helpful to identify common ear problems:
Q3: What are the fertilizer/nutrient implications for drought reduced
Answer: Whether from a grain removal rate perspective, total crop
removal, or what part a reduced yield situation plays into our fertilizer plans
is a difficult question. It will vary by every situation I can imagine. A good quality
soil sample is always a great place to start. The best I can offer is a set of links
to various university recommendations and situations below:
Impact of the Drought on Next Year's Fertilizer Rates
Soil Fertility Management Issues Following Drought-damaged Crops - Nitrogen
Dry Soil Conditions & Liquid Manure Application
Phosphorus, Potassium and pH Management Issues Folling Drought-damaged Crops
Q4: What are some of the reasons I have/had yellow patches in my
Answer: There are many possibilities from drought, disease, insect/mite
and possibly nematodes. Every field and situation may be different. Possible causes
Identifying the Cause of Yellow Patches in Soybeans
Q5: Are there possibly increased risks of herbicide carryover due
to drought conditions?
Answer: Yes, depending upon the herbicides used. Below is a link
o an ISU update that does a great job of rating the relative risks involved in the
different herbicide families and conditions:
Q6: What about the possibility of high nitrate levels in feeding
drought damaged corn silage?
Answer: High levels of nitrogen in a corn plant that is unable
to utilize it can be a feeding issue and tests should be run.
Take Precautions When Feeding Drought-Damaged Corn as Silage
Fact Sheet on Nitrate Toxicity
This is just a few of the many questions that are common in our offices, on the
phone and especially the coffee spots. If you have any additional questions or concerns
that we can address, please let us know and we will do our best!
For further information on these products and many others offered by Loveland Products,
Inc, go to the Loveland Products website at: www.lovelandproducts.com.