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Ear Rots in Corn


Ear rots can be difficult to control since weather conditions are critical to the disease development. Rots can establish any time after pollination in wounds created by insects, birds, machinery, and even hail. Rainy weather or heavy, prolonged dews often lead to ear rots in these wounded cobs.

Why are rots a concern?

The direct concern for ear rot disease is yield loss due to poor quality grain. In years when conditions favour development, large portions of fields can be affected. Once fields are infected, other management practices should be followed which can increase cost of harvesting, drying, and storing the grain.

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Stalk rots in corn

The distribution and prevalence of stalk rot diseases vary from year to year. However, the diseases are present in most years even though it may be at low levels. The majority of stalk rot damage in Ontario is caused by three fungi, Anthracnose, Gibberella and Fusarium. However, Diplodia and Pythium have also been observed.

Although these fungi cause different symptoms, their ultimate effect on the corn plant is the same. They reduce grain fill, stalk integrity, and accelerate senescence. The severity of this damage increases when the crop is under stress.

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Ridgetown College student mentorship program

Insight for a career in the agri-food industry

Thompsons Blenheim facility was host to four University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus students enrolled in the new Mentorship Program. They learned about future career opportunities in the agri-food industry starting with a tour of one of our 11 Ontario facilities. They also spent some time learning about our advanced agronomy solutions technology.

Reduce production costs without sacrificing yield

Falling commodity prices mean growers are concerned with their profit per acre. Input costs have remained high and have not adjusted to where farmers believe they should be. Until prices change, strategic adjustments will have to be made to stay profitable during lower commodity pricing years. Thompsons has identified 5 ways to help you reduce production costs without sacrificing yield.

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2014 Grain Corn Ear Mould and Vomitoxin Survey

Greg Stewart, OMAFRA Corn Specialist; Albert Tenuta, OMAFRA Field Crop Pathologist

The OMAFRA Field Crops team has completed the survey of the 2014 Ontario corn crop to determine ear mould incidence and the occurrence of mycotoxins in the grain. These mycotoxins, particularly vomitoxin (DON) produced primarily by Gibberella/Fusarium ear moulds, are grading factors and can be disruptive when fed to livestock, especially hogs.
202 samples were collected from October 14 to October 17, 2014 from corn fields across the province. In each field, 2 random areas were selected: in each area 10 consecutive ears were hand harvested and bagged. In fields with several hybrids, representative samples were taken from two areas for each hybrid (maximum of 4 hybrids per field). The 20-ear samples were then immediately dried and shelled. The resultant sample was thoroughly mixed and a sub-sample provided to A&L Laboratories in London for vomitoxin (DON) analysis.

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Potassium deficiency in corn source:

Potassium is a key ingredient to producing quality crops

Potassium (K) levels have been declining in Ontario fields. Many fields that have been sampled have noticed a drop in their soil sample potassium levels from a few years ago. Simply said, growers are not applying enough fertilizer. In some cases fertilization is less than what the crop will remove causing a decrease in soil nutrient reserves. Potassium is one of the three nutrients needed in large quantities by plants. This essential nutrient could be a limiting factor in your crop yields if your soil is not maintained at adequate levels.

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Automatic Soil Sampler

The Evolution of Soil Sampling

Wheat field

Late Planted Winter Wheat

During years when soybeans are harvested later than expected or environmental conditions delay field work, winter wheat is generally skipped in the rotation or planting is rushed. When planting winter wheat later than the recommended planting dates, even more care should be taken to ensure yield potential is not lost.

Planting date

In general, delaying planting past the recommended planting window can cost a producer from 0.6 to 1.1 bu/day. It is best to strive to plant around these dates (See figure 1).

planting dates map

Figure 1: Optimum Planting Dates in Ontario.

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corn stalks

Corn Maturity and Drydown

Can I capture an early market premium?

It’s that time of year again when growers look at their corn crop and go through the exercise of deciding when to harvest. They also wonder if they will be able to harvest a bit early to capture an early market premium for their corn. With the overall later planted crop and cool summer temperatures, corn maturity and drydown will likely occur later for most and harvesting to capture this market premium will be more difficult.

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Join the Revolution

Thompsons is an agri-business partner to our farming customers providing them with customized risk management solutions. Our team of professionals add value by helping customers obtain long term success through the implementation of individualized advanced agronomy solutions, finds global markets for their grain and specialty crops, and the ability to offer extensive grain marketing alternatives.

This statement is the focus of what Thompsons does today and is the standard of excellence we will strive for in reaching our goals of tomorrow. Thompsons Revolution is a campaign that will help us define the needs of our customers and challenge each of us to better understand how we can bring a new standard of quality to meet the needs of an ever complex and changing agricultural industry.

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