1. Plant seed in a 50 degree or above environment.
    Just like the saying, “Everything has a time”, what good comes from planting too early? Do you get your best yields with poor stands?
  2. Plant into a warming trend.
    Think of it this way- you have soil temperature, but it’s cold outside. The forecast is for warmer weather ahead- get the planters moving. The goal is to have the seed imbibe warmer water in the seed bed in every situation; Get the seed off to a fast, healthy start. With the amount of stalk rot issues we had this past year, getting this new crop off to a fast, healthy start will be the most important in years.
  3. When you plant into a cold trend, you potentially hinder plant and root development.
    Each time you think it doesn’t matter that you are planting with temperatures in the 40’s, you should be required to take a shower in 40-degree water. After all, it does matter, right? No wonder it takes so long for corn to emerge that has been planted in these conditions. No wonder stands are so poor when it has been planted in these conditions. It seems we have no time to do this step correctly, but we have all year to live with the results – and the lack of income from this poor decision.
  4. Plant genetics that have resistance to stalk rots.
    Especially in fields that were challenged in 2021. Ask your seed rep for direction in choosing genetics naturally resistant. This can make a big difference.
  5. Observe fields in late August and September and if stalk rot symptoms are present, plan to harvest early. Earliest symptoms can be seen many times by observing brace roots.
    If you have brace roots high up the stalk, you probably have a plugged crown which can result in stalk rot. You can usually see stalk rot in a serious stalk rot year in late August. In most
    years, stalk rot symptoms are apparent in September.
  6. Set your Planter for SUCCESS.
    Too many times a grower treats his planter as, “set it and forget it”. Setting the planter for the right population for the hybrid and soil type is what the successful grower does. It not only saves seed (and money) but allows you to dial it back in the field where you had stalk rot issues last year, tune it up on your rotated ground, reduce population on the hybrid with ear flex, and plant higher population on that fixed ear hybrid that can really crank it out on your best ground.
  7. Running out of nitrogen can enhance stalk rot problems.
    This can be unavoidable in a year where all it does is rain. In a year like 1993 or 2019, you could side dress all you wanted, rain washed Nitrogen down through the soil profile or off the property quickly. Long periods of wet feet are not a good thing.
  8. You need all 3 legs of the Disease Triangle to make a disease problem.

The Disease Triangle-

1) Susceptible Host.
2) Disease Present – It’s around every year – we just will have more spores available in 2022 than in the past few years.
3) Favorable Conditions- we had really favorable conditions in 2021- doesn’t mean we will have favorable conditions in 2022 (or will we?).

NEXT YEAR- you can plant all the hybrids that fell down bad this year, AND IF FAVORABLE CONDITIONS DO NOT OCCUR – YOU’LL WONDER WHY WE TALKED ABOUT THIS.

9. Putting oxygen in the soil will help minimize stalk rot.
Whenever you have soils that have a live biology system in place then diseases start to disappear. There are numerous ways to get this done. Rotation to Soybean is the best solution where the previous year was severe.
10. Spray a fungicide that is labeled for stalk rots, especially anthracnose.
Our customers confirmed many times when you have a spring that sets up stalk rot or other weather events because you have the spores present in the soil from previous years, managing or spraying fungicide pays big dividends.
11. Strive for nutrient balance in the soil.
Low levels of manganese will weaken the immune system of the plant. This is a major problem in the farming industry. We need to address carbon-chelated micro nutrients. Also, high nitrogen with low potassium can be deadly in a stalk rot situation.


This information has been compiled by Prairie Hybrid Seeds and is a combination of multiple people’s experience and observations in the agriculture industry, but does not guarantee results.