By Grant Mehring,NDCUC Contracted Research Director

This week’s crop update will be a mixture of physiology and finding information sources. The corn plant is fascinating, it truly is. Dr. Joe Lauer, corn agronomist at the University of Wisconsin Madison, provides some very nice updates on corn plant physiology, month by month, throughout the growing season. As he has approximately 30 years more experience than I, and has already published his update for August, I want to post that for you all here.

This comes from research gathered in Wisconsin, so not all of the information will directly translate to us here in North Dakota, but it will be very close. Thanks to Dr. Lauer for a concise and informative write-up. I want to add that it is a great time of year to check on your corn ear fertilization efficiency and monitor any tip-back, where the ovules at the end of the ear did not get fertilized by pollen, resulting in a loss of yield potential. Last week’s yield estimation article, coupled with monitoring your ears for tip-back, will provide an indication of any stresses to your corn plants and in your fields, be it weather or production oriented.

The other topic I want to cover is the variety of information and sources out there in the corn world. Every day I read articles about agriculture posted by a variety of sources, specifically from the social media website Twitter (just my personal preference for consolidation of sources). Sources as diverse as universities, crop consultants, commodity groups, and private companies are all putting out material that furthers our thinking and knowledge about agriculture topics. From time to time I link to posts on here, as part of my job is to facilitate the dissemination of information, and not always am I capable of either performing the research myself or finding it from here at NDSU. It is wonderful we have such a breadth and depth of information at our fingertips. Additionally, I can share some of my favorite sources from time to time in a sort of #FollowFriday like has been so popular on the social media platform twitter. Feel free to share some of your favorite sources with me.

Overall, we are in a time of season where learning about and looking at the physiology of the corn plant can pay dividends in making decisions for next growing season. Next week we will take a look at any insect pressure in the ND Corn Belt.