Stalk health is poor in many Midwestern corn fields, meaning growers might need to take a "triage" approach when deciding which fields to harvest first, saysPurdue Extensionagronomist Bob Nielsen.

"There are a lot of fields vulnerable to storms, so growers need to prioritize the health of their fields for harvest," Nielsen says. "When we start harvesting corn in earnest, we need to get the weakest fields out the earliest."

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While stalk breakage is easily seen when scouting fields, identifying stalks prone to lodging can be harder. The best way to identify compromised stalks is to pinch the lower stalk internodes to see if they collapse from the pressure. In some instances,Nielsensays pushing stalks out of the way when scouting is enough to make weak stalks fall over.

Read more about poor stalk health and corn harvest implications from Purdue.

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