Evaluating The Health of Your Corn Plant
9 Aug 239 min 15 sec

Mark Coots of Teva Corporation evaluates the condition of a corn plant and demonstrates what to you should be looking at and what can be learned for next season.

00:00 So guys, we're here today on at, uh, one of our corn fields and uh, mark KOTs from TIVA came down today and we're always smarter people when you 00:07 leave than before you get here. So I appreciate you coming. Lane and Mark are going to do a demonstration here of dissecting a corn plant. 00:16 A uh, Purdue corn breeder taught me all these things. So we're just gonna take a look at the corn plant and I'm just gonna show you all the things that this Purdue Corn breeder taught me that we can go out on our 00:26 own farms and look at just to kind of see the health of your plant and what it's showing you and what it's not showing me. Alright, 00:31 Well we're fixing to get started. Okay. So we're just gonna take a look at the corn plant here. So the first thing I look at when I go out into the field is you wanna see 00:39 what's going on with the brace roots. Is it shooting brace roots? Is it not? So in this case we can see that it shot a set of brace roots. 00:46 And if you do shoot brace roots, you want 'em to come off of the plant and go straight down into the ground when they're doing these thing where they're running on top of the ground and putting 00:55 roots on above the ground like you're seeing here. That's normally only two things that cause that's either compaction or chemicals. 01:02 And in this case we had a pre emerge joint and we know that it was causing a little issues. And that's why we're seeing these, 01:08 these roots are going over and they're trying to find a good place in the field to go down into where the, 01:12 there's not a chemical that they're not liking and stuff. The second thing is, is you want the, the bottom of the base of this stalk, 01:19 you want it to be good and round. If it's either egg shape or it's got a dent in the back of it, like a flat spot, that can give you an indication of how your calcium level is in the plant. 01:29 So the calcium level, if it's good and in the plant you'll have a good round, perfectly round stalk at the bottom and that's what you want mostly when you're 01:36 having it. So here's the next thing I look at is I a corn plant stores its nitrogen at each one of these nodes. So you, when I'm walking through a field, 01:45 a corn plant, if it's got too much nitrogen on it will actually bleed it out on the outside of the plant and it'll turn plight, 01:51 it oxidizes and turn twice and you actually take your finger and wipe that off and you know, you can see that's what it is. So when I'm walking a field, 01:59 I wanna look for that. I wanna see it on, you know, some of the plants. If I don't see it at all, then I think, 02:04 well maybe we'd be a little short on nitrogen. But I'm saying that That there it'll be, it'll be, it'll be white on the outside that, 02:10 that you'd actually rub Nitrogen off. That's right. It'll always be below the node. It'll always run down and be below the node normally. 02:16 And so you wanna see a little bit of that so you can say, Hey, I got plenty on. But if you've seen excessive amounts on every plant, 02:22 you probably just had so much nitrogen on the plant says, Hey, I just can't use it all. I'm just going to get rid of it 'cause it's, 02:27 it's stopping to me too much on me right now. So, you know, those are the other things that I look at. You know, 02:32 as far as the nitrogen goes. So now we're gonna take a look at the sugar level on it. And the sugar level is your brick level in the plant you want it to be. 02:40 If you get in the season like right after pollination, if you can be up over 10 or 12, then you're gonna have good protein, which means you're gonna have good, um, test weight in the plant. 02:50 So we always check the node below the ear. So we're gonna, we're gonna cut it, cut this, start the node below the ear, 02:59 then we're gonna take the inner pith of this stalk and that's what we're gonna test on the sugar. 03:05 And if you guys remember maybe a year ago I did one of these videos with Chad where we did the sugar level readings and stuff down on Chad Henderson's farm 03:12 and stuff. And you take that inner pith and I just got a regular old garlic press and you just put the inner, 03:20 you just put the pit in there like you're smushing garlic, just like you're smushing garlic. And this time of year, 03:26 because we're getting close to black layer, you gotta use a lot of stalk in it, you know, to try to get some juice out of it. 03:31 And then you gotta choose something to make sure you can guess it right or not. So what are we gonna be? I 03:38 think it's gonna be somewhere around a 10 or a 10 and a half maybe. So now we have our inner pit at the end, just our garlic press pliers. 03:45 I don't care what you use but this is called a refractometer and you can check the sugar level on any kind of plate. Watermelons, tomatoes, corn, you know, 03:54 whatever you want to test on. There's no batteries in these things. They only cost about 20 bucks. They're real easy. 03:59 All you have to do is open it up and this test, the sugar, sugar levels right, this is test strictly the sugar level. 04:04 So then you just squeeze and get some juice outta the plant and just put it on that prism. And normally, you know, we're at the time of year that we're, 04:12 we're already in black layer here so it's hard to get any, you know, any sugar outta this, you know, out moisture out of it too much. 04:19 But we're supposed to have used everything out there, right? Well so then you just take it and look at it in the sun in the end and then you 04:25 look on this, it's about a 10 and a half or 11. It's got a little dial on it to take care of that, you know, to focus it or whatever else you want to do on that. So we did that. 04:35 We end up with about a 10 and a half on it. The way to clean these things guys is just like that right there and then put 'em away. They never go bad. 04:42 So the next thing we're gonna do is we're just gonna split this stalk 'cause I wanna see how much, you know, what the filter root in the bottom takes. 04:49 You know, what it looks like and what's going on there. So when you're cutting this, you want this thing to cut and have to cut through the plant. 04:55 You don't want to have, you don't want it split out the front of it. You don't want it cutting like a ripe watermelon cut all the way down through to 05:02 the bottom of the roots. That would mean you didn't have any stalk strength. Right? That's exactly right. 05:07 So this is what we wanna look at right here is this, this is a filter tip in the corn plant. Anything that comes into this plant goes through that filter and you want that 05:17 to be as clear as possible. And you can see it's pretty brown because it got blocked up with heavy metals like iron and aluminum and chromium and things like that. 05:25 So it shot a set of brace roots. Here you can see that it started getting the brown line above it. So that's why it set shot this other set of brace roots above ground. 05:34 And you can tell it's starting to get just a little bit brown and if you feel up here you can kind of feel it nodded up. 05:39 Like it may want to shoot another set if it was going to, but that's what we wanna look at. We want that to be as clear as possible. 05:46 I don't know that I've ever seen one completely unblocked, but you want it to be as clear as possible. 05:51 'cause if you put your knife in that, that's like petrified wood in there. That's, and it's very hard for the, 05:56 for the corn plant to pull up nutrients through that when it's like that. We Do have a a, a brown tip here where that filter is plugged. Is it, 06:02 is it just the heavy metals or, or what all would cause That? So imbalances in the soil. So if you have high magnesium or aluminum or chromium in the soil can cause it. 06:11 And then if you're putting a starter fertilizer or or two by two that has heavy metals in it, you know that can do that too. So those, 06:18 so anything your fertilizers, that's why we're always so picky about the fertilizers we put in row that you want to use higher quality and things 'cause you want 'em with no heavy metals 06:26 in 'em. 'cause if you're putting it concentrated right in the row, you want to do all we can do to keep that filter as clean as possible. Yeah. 06:33 So corn plant, like I told you before, stores its nitrogen above each node. Mm-hmm. 06:38 And so you can see there's still just a little bit of moisture left in there and that's how much nitrogen you've got left to, to finish this corn crop out. 06:45 We're, like I said, we're at black layer so we don't want much because about 80 to 85% of your dry down goes back down through the roots. 06:52 So if you've got a lot of nitrogen left over, it just slows your dry down down and that filter plug will cause you to dry down slower too. So we want to keep things as clean as possible. But 07:02 You still wanna have just a little bit, just so you know, you didn't give up on your corn too quick. 07:05 That's exactly right. Now if we were earlier in the season, I'd want that thing to be an inch and a half or two inches high, you know, 07:10 because that then it's got enough nitrogen to do what it's doing. Yeah. So the last thing I look at is you want about an eighth inch green bleed through 07:17 on the plant. You know, sometimes we like this black jet green corn mm-hmm But it causes your chlorophyll to come in so far into your plant that it just slows everything down 07:27 in your stalk quality just won't be there. So in this case we're pretty good. We're about an eighth inch and that's what we like to see. 07:33 So those are the kind of things that I was taught by the, the Purdue corn breeder. 07:37 It's the only plant that you can go and do this filter tip. And looking at it, you know, it's just, it's just every farmer can go on the farm and, 07:43 and do this kind of stuff just to see where they're at and, and get some goals to say, Hey, as we've said, no brace roots, 07:50 the better off your 'cause that means your filter plug is less plugged up. You know, it didn't have to shoot up. 07:55 Do I have enough nitrogen on go and check these, these are the guys, anybody can go do this in the field. 07:59 So all in all, you know, we we're, we're looking at the, you know, dissecting this whole corn plant, figure out how health healthy it is. 08:05 We've got a little bit of a, a stopped up filter. We do have some of the crazy roots 'cause we eat it with a, with a herbicide about the time. You know, we think we got those crazy roots, 08:15 but we've got a decent looking corn plant. Yes. Is this a good, good way to tell whether or not, maybe not necessarily, 08:21 oh you're gonna have 250 bushel yield, but this, do you know that, that we had good nitrogen levels and we were pretty healthy throughout the year? 08:30 Sure, Yeah. I mean these can tell you a lot of what's going on. 'cause I promise you the more brace roots, the more plugged up you are, 08:35 the less yields you're gonna make. Yeah. It just, it's a proven fact, you know, so yeah, there's no doubt about it. 08:40 It's not gonna tell you how many bushes you're gonna make, but it's also, it's gonna tell you, Hey, was I healthy enough to make big bushels? 08:46 Am I gonna dry down properly? Because look, if you know you're gonna dry down slower for us in the south, that's a big deal because that means we may have to pick earlier than we want 08:54 to. 'cause we may go down or something. So as many decisions you can make based off of that, you know, we always love for you to come down here. 09:00 I learn something new every time you show up. No problem. And I appreciate you guys working with all you guys and, and, uh, like I said, 09:06 this is, it's just cool information to know. So thank you all. Thank you. Thank you guys.

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