If your corn has already tasseled or about to tassel, it may be hard to believe that there is still corn nor much taller than waist high, especially with August only a few days away. But a trip through the back roads of east-central Indiana last week confirmed that there are indeed fields that were not even waist high yet then. The question is what will happen to those fields?
They were showing signs of stress, especially where it had not rained for several days. Lawns were brown also. That may seem a novelty to those who have mowed every week this summer, at least until now.
Fields that roll during the day, while doing it to protect themselves and conserve moisture, are showing that they are under stress. When leaves roll up, then when plans take on a gray to straw-brown color, it's not a good sign if you're after top yields.
How tightly fields roll or how soon they roll may depend partly upon genetics. But when it gets as hot as it has been in the past two weeks, nearly every hybrid will show some sings of stress.
The eastern side of Indiana seemed to be hit the worst as far as late planting, although parts of central Indiana were planted relatively late as well. Planting tended to be about a week earlier in the northwestern counties, especially in the Tippecanoe County area.
How much drought affects this late-planted corn may depend upon what type of root system it has. It may also depend upon whether the corn is in minimum tillage or no-till, or in conventional tillage. This is the time of year when no-till fields often pay you back for the early spring when no-till fields are often slower to take off.
Barring sidewall compaction, the no-till fields should be better able to withstand stress. Hopefully the cover has helped preserve moisture so that as the crop need sit, it is available.