While some crops have not done well under the hot and humid weather, others, like Mark Adams's field, is far more than knee high. (Photo submitted)
While some crops have not done well under the hot and humid weather, others, like Mark Adams's field, is far more than knee high. (Photo submitted)

VAN WERT – Sarah Noggle, writer and an editor for the Ohio State University CORN newsletter, said recently that a wide variety of responses is starting to show up in cornfields across the area due to the extremely hot and human weather which stretched out over the past couple of weeks.

Noggle, OSU Extension educator for Paulding County, said that the CORN newsletter is noting the presence of foliar diseases, especially Gray Leaf Spot, starting to show up in some corn fields.

“This is not surprising, given that the crop was planted relatively late and it has been wet and humid in many areas,” said Noggle. “GLS is favored by humid conditions, particularly if temperatures are between 70 and 90 degrees.

“Diseases of corn are generally a concern when they develop early and progress up the plant before grain fill is complete. This is especially true when the hybrid is susceptible,” continued Noggle.

Noggle said that due to wide variations in planting dates, weather conditions and hybrid maturities, the corn crop is at growth stages ranging from emergency to tassel across the state. She noted that now is the time to start scouting early-planted fields for foliar diseases, especially those planted with susceptible hybrids in an area with a history of foliar diseases or in a continuous-corn, no-till field area.

“Use hybrid susceptibility, weather conditions, field history, and current disease level as guides when making a decision to apply a fungicide,” said Noggle.

Just across the Indiana line, Jeff Lehman, manager of Lehman Feed Mill that also serves farmers in Van Wert and Mercer counties, said that it has been a long time since he has seen corn as tall, tasseling and working its way towards pollination as it is in many of the fields this week.

"I’ve seen corn tasseling on July 4 before, but it’s been a long, long time,” said Lehman.

Like Noggle, Lehman said that the hot and humid nights are exactly what the corn doesn’t need if it is getting ready to pollinate.

“Pollination works much better when the corn has a chance to cool off overnight,” said Lehman. “Hot nights can do a lot of damage to pollination if the heat continues over a sustained period of time.”

Thank goodness, said weather specialist Rick McCoy, an air mass bringing temporary relief into the region has finally moved into the area. McCoy said that night-time lows ranging into the 50’s the next few nights could save many of the pollination fears.

“Even if we can keep temperatures in the 60’s, it will be much better than what we’ve had,” said Lehman.