With much of the Midwest facing colder-than-normal temperatures, excess moisture, and planting delays, Syngenta agronomists are encouraging growers to consider four tips to optimize the performance of late-planted crops.
1. Don’t change your hybrid or variety selections — yet
- For corn, Syngenta advises that growers wait until the last week of May before changing their hybrid selections. Below are some general guidelines from the University of Minnesota:
- May 25-31: Plant hybrids that are 5 to 7 relative maturity units earlier than a full-season hybrid.
- June 1-10: Plant hybrids that are 8 to 15 relative maturity units earlier than a full-season hybrid.
- June 11-15: Plant hybrids that are 15 or more relative maturity units earlier than a full-season hybrid.
- For soybeans, growers who may be looking at planting after June 15 should consider varieties that are 0.5 or 1.0 maturity group earlier.
2. Don’t skimp on your soybean seed treatments
- Because cold, wet soils are favorable environments for seedling diseases like Pythium and Phytophthora, a robust fungicide seed treatment is essential.
- Syngenta recommends CruiserMaxx Vibrance Beans, a combination of separately registered products, which not only delivers broad-spectrum protection against damaging early-season diseases and insects, but also supports strong emergence and standability in a variety of soil temperatures.
3. Evaluate the application flexibility, residual control and crop safety of your herbicide
- While the optimal herbicide application timing for preventing early-season weed competition is pre-emergence, selecting an herbicide that can be applied at both pre-emergence and post-emergence can help mitigate the negative effects of weather-related application delays.
- Choosing an herbicide with long-lasting residual will help ensure that delays between application and planting won’t result in weed control that will run out too soon.
- Syngenta recommends that growers consult with their retailers to ensure their herbicide formulation includes a safener, which provides extra protection for the plant as it emerges and allows for a wider application window.
4. Plan for a robust disease scouting regimen
- Crops planted later in the season may be more vulnerable to infection from soil-borne diseases like Northern corn leaf blight, gray leaf spot and white mold — and foliar diseases like frogeye leaf spot and Southern rust. Additionally, less mature plants can be more vulnerable to infection from pathogens that have had time to build population size.
- In light of the increased vulnerability to disease that late-planted crops may face, Syngenta recommends that growers employ a robust scouting plan and monitor disease reports carefully to accommodate timely fungicide applications that can help crops reach full maturity and yield potential.