Even though the rain varied around the county, it helped us out. The National Weather Service is calling for higher temps for this coming week, and the month of June is looking for a wide variation in rainfall amounts. The crops are looking good, and spraying and side dressing of corn was the norm this week.
There is still room if you would like to attend our Hydrangea School, scheduled for June 19 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Delaware County Board of Elections, 2079 U.S. Route 23 N., Delaware. It will prove to be filled with great information on different types, how to properly care, prune and bloom times. Everyone who attends will take home a Hydrangea. Call the office at 740-833-2030 for more information and to sign up. Cost is $35.
Benefit in the Barn
Jim and Mary Rodman’s Family Farm in Radnor will be the location of this year’s Benefit in the Barn on Aug. 18 from 6 p.m. until dark.
Enjoy this celebration of agriculture and music on the farm hosted by the Delaware & Union County Farm Bureau organizations. All net proceeds will benefit partners of the Delaware County Hunger Alliance and Union County Hunger Relief agencies. Last year’s event raised over $38,000 for hunger relief in the Delaware community.
Price per ticket is $35 ($30 for Farm Bureau members). Ticket includes a special performance by the Central Ohio Symphony and the Delaware Hayes Symphonic Chorus, plus dinner catered by City Barbeque. A cash bar featuring Ohio craft beer & wine will be available.
You can register online at https://www.liveuniteddelawarecounty.org/about-us/event-detail/filter/133
Green, purple or yellow – early corn coloration
“Corn seedlings often turn yellow (due to low nitrogen uptake and/or limited chlorophyll synthesis) or purple (reduced root development and/or increased anthocyanin production) under cool, wet conditions,” said Peter Thomison, OSU Extension State Specialist.
Some hybrids are more likely to increase anthocyanin (purple pigment) content when plants are cool. Yellowing or purpling of corn plants at this stage of development generally has little or no effect on later crop performance or yield potential. If it’s induced by environmental conditions, the yellow or purple appearance should change to a healthy green after a few sunny days with temperatures above 70 degrees F. If plants remain yellow, then closer inspection and assessment is needed to determine if yellowing is caused by nutrient deficiency or some other factor.
High rainfall causing saturated soils can lead to the appearance of yellow corn. The visual appearance may be interpreted as N deficiency says Thomison, but this is rarely the case. Excessive water leads to poor respiration of the roots, inhibiting nutrient uptake. This results in the chlorotic appearance, which resembles N deficiency. After soils dry out, the appearance returns back to normal. If the chlorotic condition persists after the soil dries, the problem should be investigated further. Thomison says that this short-term condition should not affect yield potential of the crop.
When you combine cool nighttime temperatures, high radiation levels during the day, and wet field conditions, you are likely to start seeing purple plants in some corn fields. According to Thomison, the first thing that could come to mind is a phosphorus deficient soil. This is unlikely the case, especially this early in the year. As a defense mechanism to protect photosynthesis, a corn will form pigments to help absorb excess light and divert it away from their photosynthetic centers as a form of sunblock. Thomison says that this purple color is from anthocyanin, which can be formed from excess light or caused by a buildup of sugar (sucrose). Diverting the excess sunlight protects the photosynthetic mechanism and can reduce the time needed for the plant to recover from excess light stress. Other factors including soil compaction, herbicide injury, etc. can make the effect even more pronounced. Purple corn can also be the result of what is known as the “fallow syndrome.” If corn follows a fallow season, a root fungus called mycorrhizae reaches a low population. Mycorrhizal infection of corn aids in phosphorus and zinc uptake. Until the fungal growth is stimulated by the corn roots, which exude starches and sugars, the purple color may persist. Fortunately, the purple tint is short-lived and rarely persists beyond the V6 growth stage. Thomison says that it should not have an impact on the yield potential of the field.
Rob Leeds is an Ohio State University Extension Educator for Delaware County.