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Missouri: 2018 Season Recap

December 15, 2018
This agronomic image shows Agronomist Brett Craigmyle (far left) and several retailers inspect a corn plot at the Columbia, MO, Grow More Experience site

June, 20, 2018: Agronomist Brett Craigmyle (far left) and several retailers inspect a corn plot at the Columbia, MO, Grow MoreTM Experience site.

For many Missourians, the 2018 corn season was reminiscent of 2012; albeit, with lower commodity prices. Dry conditions and drought hit large portions of the state hard after a promising start and carried through to harvest, negatively impacting crop quality and yield.

Conditions in April were a bit cooler than normal and at times delayed planting before giving way to warmer weather in May. By mid-May, 91% of corn was planted according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

From June onward, conditions were hot and rains scarce across much of the state. Coupled with relentless heat, a lack of sufficient and timely rains stressed many corn fields and pushed some to the breaking point.

The Southeastern portion of the state and pockets elsewhere had more favorable conditions. As of September 24, the drought’s impact was evident in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s crop progress and condition report. Only 7% of corn was rated excellent and 54% fair to good. 39% of corn was rated very poor to poor, a 30% increase compared to the same time in 2017.

This agronomic image shows large swaths of Missouri in abnormally dry (yellow) and moderate drought (tan) to severe (orange) and extreme (red) drought conditions.

October 4, 2018: The U.S. Drought Monitor shows large swaths of Missouri in abnormally dry (yellow) and moderate drought (tan) to severe (orange) and extreme (red) drought conditions.

So how did the overly dry conditions impact corn harvest and what can you do to prepare for next season?

Many areas hit by drought had poor plant health, and that impacted stand and harvestability. There were many acres of downed corn at harvest, and yield numbers across much of the state were well below average.

Areas hit the hardest by drought saw upwards of 50% reductions in yield. Some fields were even complete losses. In areas that did not see drought conditions, yields were more favorable.

Mother Nature is always unpredictable, so varied conditions including dry conditions and drought should be anticipated in 2019. We recommend planting corn hybrids that are best suited to Missouri’s unique climate and include Agrisure® traits for water optimization and season-long drought protection.

We also recommend a R1 application of Trivapro® fungicide. Trivapro is the only fungicide on the market that can be applied at R1 and last until harvest. Applying Trivapro at R1 timing improves water use efficiency in dry conditions and provides the hardest-working and longest-lasting control of rust, gray leaf spot and Northern corn leaf blight. In addition, its plant-health benefits will help maximize grain fill and protect stalk integrity for improved harvest efficiency and reduced volunteer corn the following year.

Trivapro can also be applied on soybeans for many of the same water use efficiency and plant health benefits observed in corn and to control frogeye leaf spot – a disease that plagued many Missouri soybean fields in 2018.

For your corn herbicide program, we recommend Acuron®. Acuron combines 4 active ingredients, 3 effective sites of action (SOAs) and a corn safener, benoxacor, in one convenient premix. In addition to being safe, Acuron provides reliable control of 70+ tough weeds, regardless of weather conditions, soil type, application preference, tillage system or field geography. And, Acuron provides flexible application from 28 days pre-plant up to 12-inch corn.

The atrazine-free counterpart of Acuron, Acuron Flexi, has 3 active ingredients, 2 effective SOAs and provides the same reliable safety and performance with an increased application window – from 28 days pre-plant up to 30-inch corn.

Both Acuron brands can be applied in 1 or 2-pass systems. In a 2-pass system, Halex® GT herbicide plus either an atrazine or dicamba product may be used as the post application. Applying Halex GT post-emergence following Acuron or Acuron Flexi adds another site of action.

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