Field Observations Thru September 15


Growth & Development

Most of the corn that I have seen this week is in either the late R4 (Dough) or the R5 (Dent) growth stage.  A few fields are approaching the final growth stage R6.

R6 – Physiological Maturity

  • Occurs approximately 66‐70 days after silking.
  • R6 is reached  after the milk line disappears and the starch has reached the base of the kernel.
  • Kernels have reached maximum dry weight.
  • Kernel moisture is  about 35% at physiological maturity.
  • Black layer occurs after physiological maturity and  serves as a visual verification that the plant is mature. Black layer typically occurs at 30%  moisture but varies by hybrid and environment.
  • Husks and many of the leaves are no longer green, but the stalk may be green.
  • Only external stress can reduce yield now,  such as plant lodging or insect feeding.


At this growth stage look for:

  • Ear rots.
  • Stalk rots.
  • Anthracnose top dieback.
  • Stalk lodging.
  • Abnormal ear fill which identifies periods of stress.
  • Weed escapes (especially Palmer and Waterhemp).

This is also a good time to get an accurate yield estimate.


Growth & Development

Soybeans are continuing to mature.  Last week I highlighted the R7 growth stage, the last growth stage is R8 full maturity.

R8 – Full Maturity

  • 95% of pods reached mature color
  • Mature pod color does not necessarily indicate that beans are ready to harvest
  • 35% grain moisture in freshly matured pod
  • 15% within another 5 to 10 days
  • Below-optimum plant stands cause more branching, low pod heights & can delay maturity
  • Above-optimum plant stands increase lodging.


At this growth stage look for:

  • Green stem syndrome.
  • Lodging
  • Sprouting seeds
  • Pod shattering
  • Weed escapes (especially Palmer and Waterhemp).

This is also a good time to check soybean yield potential.

County Rainfall Update

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