The spring of 2018 will go down as a delayed planting season in most areas of Southwestern Ontario. Corn planted in Chatham–Kent planted on May 02, 2018 is now starting to finally emerge. Ironically, corn planted on May 7, 2018 is emerging at the same time, which speaks to the cooler planting conditions to start off the season. With soil conditions now too wet to do any field work, it’s a perfect time to evaluate the emerging crop and make adjustments to equipment and management strategies for the remainder of the crop not yet planted.
If you are seeing variability with your emergence or spacing, it would be a good time to determine the root cause. Often, it can be as simple as an adjustment to your planter. If you are seeing weeds emerge, determine what species are present and develop a post emerge herbicide plan that includes multiple modes of effective action for control. It’s critical to control weeds early to prevent unwanted yield limiting antagonism with the corn. If you have applied all of your nitrogen up front, you may want to include soil nitrate testing as part of your monitoring this year (especially if you received excessive rainfall).
This is also a good time to scout for wireworms and grubs to evaluate the effectiveness of your current seed treatment. Remember, when Mother Nature does allow us to get back into the field to plant, proper soil conditions are more influential to yield than calendar date!