Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, October 14, 1995, Image 201

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    In Wake Of Drought,
Co.) Centre County com
grower Wade Wolfe is just
beginning to pick com, so he is
not sure how much of an effect
this year’s late season drought
will have on yields.
Both he and his father,
Glenn Wolfe, say that in the 45
years the family has been on
this farm, they have seen worse
years than this.
So far the test weights are
down, said Wade, because of
Associate Professor t&t' jH
The 1995 growing season
was, to say the least, a different
com growing experience than
many of us have experienced in
the recent past.
Seed' Treatments May
Lancaster Farming Staff
Co.) Untreated seed and an
unusually mild winter this year
may have severely affected
com stand and possibly overall
harvest, according to a Penn
State researcher.
At this year’s Weed Field
Day held in July at the universi
ty’s Southeast Research Labor
atory in Landisville, com plants
showed evidence of a lack of
seed treatment problems
with emergence in spots, com
height variability, and overall
population decrease because of
overwintering insects and
According to Greg Roth,
associate professor of agro
nomy at Penn State, the
unevenness and spotty growth
could be blamed on “a flush of
soil critters due to the open and
relatively warm winter we
had.” The uneven height could
ho a secondary symptom, he
Fields inspected throughout
the state showed similar prob
lems with brown discoloration
.In the root system from wire-
w °nns, seed com infestation,
and seed fungus.
All these problems could
pve been reduced with a
low moisture, reducing the
fullness of the kernels. The
average test weight so far has
been 52 pounds/bushcl it
should be around 56 to avoid
being docked when selling the
Another problem this year is
a big variation in kernel mois
ture. Wade said the monitor on
his combine indicated a range
of from 15 to 40 percent in one
field with higher moisture
levels in spots with deeper soil.
Foe many of us it was a learn
ing experience which is what
keeps this business interesting.
Let’s examine a few of the
challenges that occurred during
the last half of the 1995 com
production season in Pennsyl
vania and discuss the lessons
(Turn to Poflo S)
“three-way” scedbox treat
ment, combining a fungicide,
insecticide, and a chemical
Greg Roth, right, shows heslthy root growth of corn
to Tom Oyler, Gettysburg, at this year’s Ag Progress
Corn Talk, Lancaster Farming, Saturday, October 14, 1995
Wolfes Worry About Com Test Weights
When the kernel moisture is
higher or lower than what the
combine is set for before
harvesting, the kernels are bro
ken up, cutting down yields
and increasing spoilage in stor
age bins if moisture is too high.
Glenn estimates a 25-50 per
cent drop in com yields this
year, as the ears are half the
normal length, and there are
some barren stalks. Later com
varieties didn’t pollinate, he
said. Also, if they get high
winds before the corn is
harvested, the unusually tall
stalks, which are brittle from
the drought and are carrying
the ears four feet off the
ground, will go down.
Another harvesting problem
resulted from sap leaving the
stalks too quickly, which
meant that a lot of com cut for
silage was too dry. Wade tried
adding water to the silage as it
was being unloaded, but that
didn’t work because the silage
was so dry that they couldn’t
add water fast enough to do
much good.
But there is some good news
about this year’s com. Wade is
pleased about the quality of the
yellow coloration in the com.
(Turn to Pag» 3)
Stem Problems*Of ‘Overwintering’
treatment to improve
In one example, com was
Wade Wolfe, left, vice president of the Pennsylvania
Com Growers’ Association, and his father Glenn Wolfe
check the com they have harvested so far this year for
drought effects.
planted at the research station
on May 1. Com emergence
should have topped 21,000
plants per acre. However, only
15,000-16,000 plants emerged,
said Roth, “a pretty significant
drop in population.”
Of the problems reported
throughout the state, many
were a result of the “second
wave” of com planted, in the
May 1-May 10 timeframe. Not
every field was affected.
Nonemergent com should not
exceed 10 percent of the total
planted. But in many cases,
nonemeigent totals approached
20 percent of total planted.
In some cases, Roth has seen
fields drop down to 15,000
plants per acre or less. Some
fields needed to be replanted.
Farm Calendar
1 iii-sda\, Nom’milht 7
Solanco Young Farmers meet-
“I don’t have the complete
answer,” said Roth. “We’re not
sure what causes the problem.”
Whatever the cafise, Roth
said that a number of growers
that he visited do not routinely
use a seedbox seed treatment.
“That’s probably a mistake,” he
Researchers at Cornell have
done more research than Penn
State on the use of seed treat
ments, and “they find that the
use of these ‘three-way’ pro
ducts gives you the most broad
spectrum control” of problems.
Roth said that Penn State will
inspect and monitor fields to
see if there arc some direct ben
efits to using the seedbox treat
ments. Cost equals about $2 per
Lighthouse Restaurant,
Harvest Drive Family
(Turn to Pag* 6)