Mike Wlliams farms in Pocahontas County, and is also an agronomist on the staff of Gold Eagle Co-op — a multi-outlet cooperative in central Iowa. He applies full-season nutrition and biological products from planting through the growing season. Mike’s photos of his 2020 corn crop are an example of how TLC (tender loving care) pays off under heavy stress, such as hail and dry weather.
August 13, 2020 — When Mike texted us the picture of beautiful corn (shown in the photos below), we asked: “Tell us the whole story.”
Here’s how Mike describes what happened this season, starting with abundant nutrition and biologicals applied with the planter:
4 gallons of 9-18-3 starter
1 pint per acre of Biodyne’s Environoc 401
1 quart of zinc
1 pint humic acid
1 pint per acre sugar with fulvic acid
4 ounces WakeUP Spring surfactant/penetrant/transporter
8 ounces Vitazyme biostimulant
Surface-applied with the planter in two streams (one on each side of the row) :
12 gallons 32% N
5 gallons 0-0-13
3 gallons ammonium thiosulfate
4 ounces Blitz soil penetrant for the 32% N
Then the drama began. Mike’s description: “On June 4 this spring I was walking through the cornfield on my way home from Gold Eagle and was very pleased with how this field was looking and progressing. I would call this my tougher acre farm as it is far from being my best.
“I looked to the west and saw a band of what appeared to be rain coming my way, so I headed for the car. What started as a light rain shower quickly turned into damaging-size hailstones. By the time the storm was over, the farm I thought looked surprisingly well moments earlier was smashed and shredded. I came back the next morning to get this picture of the field.
“Six days after the storm, very early in the morning of June 10, the portion of the field in the progress photos below was sprayed with Impluse, a product by Spraytec.
“That same day, late in the afternoon into early evening, the entire field was sprayed for broadleaves. In the tank mix with my herbicide I added Respite and a sugar product with fulvic acid. Respite is a product from Biodyne USA. It’s a hormone product to help deal with or overcome stress. The sugar was added for instant energy, since the plants have had some time to recoup a little bit.
“Since then the farm was top-dressed with 100 pounds of AMS while a RoGator could still get through. It has also had a fungicide applied at tassel, tank-mixed with another shot of Respite and sugar.
“We had pretty good rains throughout June up until July 4. We had 0.4 inch between July 2 and July 5. The rest of July was very hot and dry. I had two small showers the week of August 3 that amounted to 0.3 inch. Monday Aug. 10, The huge derecho winds missed us and I ended up getting 0.9 inch of rain. As seen in the Aug. 12 pictures of recovered corn, plant health looks great with little signs of stress. The photo of corn ears shows a little tip back from what I blame on our hot and dry July pollination period. That pretty much sums up my year so far!” Mike Williams
Corn starting to dent as of August 12