Walking corn fields this past week there was a lot of variability in progress. I’ve seen anything from half-milkline to late-blister on some mid-June-planted corn. Most silage samples have been coming in at about 70 percent the past couple of days. So it looks like silage harvest will be starting about the time this report is published.

I’ve had a few calls about corn ears showing tip back. Most of it’s on hybrids that pollinated about the final week of July. That week we had temperatures in the 80s and night-time temperatures in the 60s. That puts a lot of stress on the plants and can make them abort kernels.

Tar spot has started appearing in fields that had it this past year. It’s slowly appearing in other fields. I’ve only seen a few lesions showing the necrotic rings we saw the previous year that killed plants prematurely. So there may be something that is absent in most fields that created the complex we saw. That just shows we know little about how that disease will act in our area going forward.

Soybean diseases are appearing with greater frequency this week. I had several calls about soybeans starting to mature. Upon closer inspection we found disease killing plants. Sudden death syndrome and white mold are the main culprits this year. In some fields we are finding phytophthora. With sudden death syndrome and phytophthora usually coming after cool wet springs I’m not surprised we’re finding them.

There’s a lot of tillage being done on prevent-plant acres, with most running into wetter soil conditions than we normally would see at this point in the year. I think some of that’s from no crops growing and taking moisture on some of it this year. But we’ve noticed that this entire year we haven’t seen the rocks on the Rock River by Pipersville, Wisconsin. With the river as high as it has been and the potential for rain this week, it’s starting to feel a little like this past year before harvest. Let’s hope that changes.

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Kyle Stull farms near Ixonia, Wisconsin, at Kieck Farms LLC handling the agronomy side of the business. He and farm owner Dennis Kieck run 1,300 acres of corn and soybeans along the Rock River. Stull is a certified crop adviser and also runs Stull Agronomy LLC providing crop-consulting services along with selling seed.