Certain areas around the Midwest have received significant hail damage to crops in recent days and weeks. After damage has occurred it is important to wait at least 5 days before assessing. This gives the crop the appropriate time to regrow and allows you to more accurately evaluate stand loss.
The delayed planting season makes it easier for pests like black cutworm to invade. Black cutworm, the most damaging cutworm species in corn, is a migratory pest that shows up in the spring with storms.
What surprised me was seeing lighting bugs out so early in the year. There were not very many, but they were out and flying.
Stand establishment of corn and soybeans is the combined result of several things such as seed quality, planting standards, soil conditions at planting, and weather patterns 24-48 hours after planting. Evaluating stands involves determining two things: stand quantity (population) and stand quality (number of full ears at harvest compared to planting population).
As I have been out looking recently, I have seen some purpling of corn plants in the fields. Did you know some of this is natural and good? Some hybrids have a normal purpling to the leaves due to genetics, and as researchers, we take notes on this. We feel it is a good trait to see as some of the better hybrids genetically do this and the purpling disappears quickly with no damage to the plants.