Corn School: The "Push Test" — Will Corn Stay Standing Until Harvest?

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With corn harvest around the corner, the “push test” can help growers assess plant health and whether lodging will be a problem.

As part of this episode of the Corn School, Dieter Schwarz, market develop agronomist for Western Canada with Pride Seeds, discusses the importance of plant health right through the dry-down process.

Stalk integrity is critical to getting the maximum number of bushels through the combine and into the bin, as Schwarz demonstrates the “push test” — checking whether a corn plant returns to an upright position after bending it to a 45 degree angle.

“It helps us determine how the crop will stand at harvest,” he explains. “The grower might have to be on his toes to get in at the right time to harvest the crop because of concerns about standability.”

As he explains, poor stalk strength can be attributed to a number of factors, but corn borer is a likely cause.

Related: Scouting Tips for Corn Borer (Yes, Even in Resistant Varieties)

Schwarz also discusses how early frost and disease (including Goss’s Wilt) are contributing to earlier maturity. Watch for a follow-up video in the next few days delving further into the impact of early frost and Goss’s.

Don’t have time to watch? Listen here:

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