What is in this article?:
- Corn is an unforgiving crop.
- Realistic goals needed.
- Early growing season mostly favorable.
BUTCH AYCOCK, Collin County, Texas, corn farmer, says early conditions were good for most of his 2012 corn crop.
Applying Afla-Guard and AF-36, atoxigenic forms of aspergillus flavus, has become a routine production practice in Northeast Texas for the past few years. “If corn buyers are not in the dairy business, they are interested in our corn now,” Aycock said. “If we used it, buyers don’t have to worry about aflatoxin-contaminated corn. It’s not bullet proof, but I think a 90 percent reduction is typical. I think we can get below 20 parts per billion with perfect timing and maybe adjusted rate.”
Aycock uses Afla-Guard on 100 percent of his acreage. He said a fungicide application, along with an insecticide for spider mites applied with the Afla-Guard, may have been a good idea this year. “We tend to see more spider mites in dry years.”
By late June, much of Aycock’s corn was close to being made. “But I don’t think corn ever gets to the point that it doesn’t benefit from another rain,” he said. “Even corn that has already been dinged by dry weather responds to rain.”
He said corn needed moisture earlier than normal this year because of unusually warm early growing conditions. “We started wheat harvest early and were done by the first of June,” he said. “That’s normally early for corn to need much moisture, but it was two to five weeks early.”
He said timely rain turned some fields around. “They were already burning up but after the rain were greening up again.”
In some areas “a lot of potential rainfall fizzled out. We missed a few, and the worst fields that started missing rain just kept on missing it.”