• Last modified 321 days ago (July 6, 2023)


Poor wheat gives way to promising corn

Staff writer

The 2023 corn crop might make farmers happier after a lackluster wheat crop this year.

Steven Payne, assistant agronomy manger at MKC in Walton, said a lot of corn in the north end of MKC’s service area already had tasseled.

Some corn fields in the county are tall and tasseled; others shorter and haven’t tasseled yet.

Timing of rain had much to do with how corn crops are doing.

“It was too late for the wheat crop, which was already struggling from the drought,” Payne said. “It came in at just the right time for the corn crop.”

Differences in plant height could be attributable to amounts of fertilizer put on the crop, he said.

Demand for corn seed started early this year, Payne said. He thinks the poor outlook for wheat affected that.

“With the wheat, they wanted to have something to look forward to if the wheat didn’t do well,” he said.

Farmers bought corn seed starting the second week of April, which was a little early. They typically wait until the ground is 55 degrees before planting corn, he said.

“It should be starting to fill out here soon,” he said.

Consistent moisture will help with growth. But consistent moisture could make the corn too tall for more fertilizer.

“The corn looks like it might be making people content, especially after the wheat,” Payne said.

Gary Evans, who owns NC+ seed company in rural Marion, said the difference between the height of one field of corn and another field could be from when it was planted or how many days the variety of corn needs to be finished.

“The corn is the best looking that I’ve seen in years,” he said. “So far, weather permitting, we should have a good corn crop.”

Harvest is still a long way down the road, he noted.

“It’s been so spotty with the rain that one place can get an inch of rain and another can get 0.02,” Evans said

Corn plants that sent roots straight down instead of spreading roots out end up getting more moisture, he said.

“With the corn, it is looking excellent at this stage of the game,” he said.

Soybeans also are looking good, Evans said.

“A lot of soybean is going in now after the wheat harvest,” he said.

A lot of people are putting in a second crop to offset wheat losses.

Rotating crops in a field is a good practice at any time.

“There is after-harvest corn, but not a lot because it takes a lot of moisture to make that work,” Evans said. “I haven’t sold a lot of after-harvest corn.”

Last modified July 6, 2023