No. 7 Article 10/May 6, 2005

The Good, the Bad, and the Unsightly

Dr. Bob Nielsen at Purdue used the phrase "refrigerated conditions" to describe the crop growing conditions over the past 2 weeks. I think it's an appropriate term. While we raised a number of issues about cool conditions in the Bulletin last week, we did not then anticipate that the cold weather would stick around as long as it has, nor that we would get some of the lowest temperatures during the first week of May. To best describe how "upside down" the past month has been, we accumulated 257 growing degree-days from April 1 to 20 at Urbana, and 52 GDDs from April 21 through May 3. April GDDs actually ended up above average, but the setbacks to the emerged crop probably eliminated most of the anticipated advantage to early planting this year.

There are positives and negatives to this situation, though the negatives outweigh the positives. Let's look at what we can expect for the 2005 corn crop.

The Good

The Bad

The Unsightly

It should be possible by the end of this week (May 7-8) to tell whether or not plants survived the low temperatures and are starting to grow back. Prospects of survival are lower for plants that had about two leaves exposed (V1 to V2) than for older or younger plants and are lower for plants that showed some regrowth after the frost of April 23-24 before being frosted again on May 3-4.

If you think that a replant decision is necessary, I suggest that you use the Replant Decision Aid at the Web site http://www.aces.uiuc.edu/iah/index.php?ch=ch2/replant.html.--Emerson Nafziger

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