Wednesday, May 31, 2023

After a Slow Start, 2023 Corn Planting and Emergence is Fast

After a slow start, corn planting progressed rapidly throughout much of Wisconsin during the last half of May. Drier weather at planting with enough rain to activate pre-emergence herbicides is one characteristic of a good yielding year. Early planting allows corn plants to take advantage of the entire growing season, and, as importantly, be harvested with reasonable grain moisture at the end of the season. Of course, we have a long way to go yet, and a lot of things can happen.

Figure 1 shows planting progress as reported by USDA-NASS. Also included are the slowest and fastest years for corn planting progress over the past 30-years. The slowest planting year was 2019, while the fastest was 2010 (as measured by 50% planted). Typically, Wisconsin has 50% of the corn acreage planted by Week 19 (May 10). 

Figure 1. Corn planting progress for Wisconsin. Data were derived from USDA-NASS for the previous 30-years. Years were separated based upon + one standard deviation from the 30-year average. Solid lines are years of significantly faster planting, while dashed lines are years of significantly slower planting. To enlarge, click on the Figure.

Emergence and early leaf development has progressed quickly as well. At Arlington, corn planted on May 15 had emerged and was at the V2 stage as of today. 

As part of our spring routine to prepare for planting the UW hybrid trials around the state, we begin the campaign by maintaining our planter and planting a few rounds of four hybrids as early as possible at Arlington. Over the last few years, we have been able to plant corn in late March. We do not recommend this practice, especially since crop insurance does not kick-in until April 11. We do this to check our planter, observe corn seedling emergence, observe effectiveness of seed treatments, and the effect of early weather (snow and freezing temperatures) on stand establishment. This year field conditions allowed us to plant April 3. Below are pictures of this year's stand and plant development progress as of May 30.

Figure 2. Corn planted on April 3 at Arlington, WI.
Photo taken by Thierno Diallo on May 30.
To enlarge, click on the Figure.

Figure 3. Corn planted on April 3 at Arlington, WI. The crop growth stage is V5.
Photo taken by Thierno Diallo on May 30.
To enlarge, click on the Figure.

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Annual "Gold Book" Report on Cultural Practices and Management Systems for Corn in Wisconsin is now available

Photo by Roger Schmidt

is the science of land management. Agronomists generate, integrate and apply science-based knowledge and principles to crops grown for food, feed, fiber, and fuel that are efficient, environmentally sound, and sustainable for future generations. The mission of the Wisconsin Corn Agronomy program is to answer corn management questions expressed by Wisconsin farmers and industry.

The Wisconsin Corn Agronomy program annually plants and harvests 12,000 to 13,000 plots at 14 locations in Wisconsin. Of these plots, about 3000 are harvested for forage with the remaining harvested for grain. Corn forage and/or grain yield, quality and other agronomic traits are measured on all plots.

Roughly half of the plots involve the Wisconsin Corn Hybrid Evaluation program, The best way to deliver technology to the farm-gate is through hybrids selected by farmers for various traits (i.e. pest resistance, lodging resistance, quality, etc.). Selecting adapted, high-performing hybrids often means the difference between profit and loss. Results of of this work are published every year in November and can be found here.

The other half of the program involves research on farmer management decisions. The results of this work are published every year in February and can be found here. Specific research objectives of this program focus on management decision-making regarding crop productivity, quality, and production efficiency including hybrid selection, rotation, tillage systems, and replant and yield loss damage assessments. Emphasis is on impacts of cropping practices on grower profitability, the environment, and natural resource conservation.

Below is a list of projects conducted during 2022.

Full report


2022 Weather for Arlington 
2022 Weather for Marshfield

Hybrid evaluation
    01 Optimum hybrid maturity at various locations
    01 Syngenta hybrid evaluation for silage
    01 Prairie Hybrids evaluation for silage

Planting systems
    02 Plant density
    03 Date of planting

Wisconsin Crop Rotation Trials
    09 Alfalfa-Corn
    09 Corn-Soybean
    09 Corn-Soybean-Wheat
    09 Alfalfa-Corn-Oat-Soybean-Wheat

Pest control
    10 Xyway fungicide

Product evaluation
    11  Elicit - Best a (biostimulant-phytosterol)

Soil fertility
    12 Envita

Plant variability
    16 Sweet corn defoliation

17 Strip-Tillage

19 Agrosystems - Fractional replication

We have done our best to see that the experiment design and data collection to date is complete, timely and free from errors. However, if you detect an error in these results, please call it to our attention. These reports are copyrighted. The information presented in these reports are for the purpose of informing farmers and cooperators in industry of the results of research. The cooperation of other faculty and staff and the support of funding agencies and industry are gratefully acknowledged. The information presented in this report does not constitute recommendation or endorsement.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

2022 Wisconsin Corn Hybrid Performance Trials: Grain • Silage • Specialty • Organic

 This year marks the 50th year of corn hybrid performance evaluation conducted by the Wisconsin Agronomy Department, the Wisconsin Crop Improvement Association, and the seed industry. In 1973, the first Wisconsin public corn performance trials were conducted by Elwood Brickbauer. Trials were grown in southern Wisconsin at Janesville, Lancaster and Platteville. In northern Wisconsin, trials were established at Antigo, Ashland, Hancock, Marshfield, Spooner, and Waupaca. The average yield of the first trials was 121 bu/A. Over the past 50 years, 18,773 hybrids have been evaluated at various locations in Wisconsin. In 1995, the corn silage hybrid evaluation program was initiated. Hybrid selection is a key decision made by farmers and historically is important for delivering new technologies, pest resistance and increased yield and profitability to the farm-gate.  The purpose of this program is to provide unbiased performance comparisons of hybrid seed corn for both grain and silage available in Wisconsin.  

The 2022 growing season at most southern sites was similar to the 30-year normal for Growing Degree Unit (GDU) accumulation and precipitation. In northern Wisconsin, GDU accumulation and precipitation was less than normal. For most of the state, planting progress was similar to the average with 50% of the acreage planted by May 10. An exception was northeast Wisconsin which had somewhat delayed planting. Most trial plots were established by early May. Stand establishment was good to excellent at all locations. Ear size was larger than normal. Tar spot, Phyllachora maydis, increased throughout the state and was significant in southern Wisconsin, however, in most cases it was too late to affect yield. Good growing conditions continued into late-fall with a killing frost occurring in late October. Silage and grain moisture was higher than normal. Little plant lodging occurred at most trial sites. Little disease and insect pressure were observed within most trials.

Results for the 2022 growing season can be found at: