Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Seed Consultants, Inc.For much of the eastern Corn Belt, soils were excessively wet this spring and crops were planted into less than idea soil conditions. Compounded with continued wet weather throughout the growing season, the early wet conditions have resulted in restricted root development. Growers and agronomists who have spent time digging up plants this year have observed shallow root systems, poor soil penetration due to shallow compaction, and narrow, flat root systems that followed the seed furrow because they could not penetrate the compacted sidewalls of the seed trench. Poor root systems are a cause for standability concerns this fall. In areas where root development has been restricted, crops should be harvested in a timely manner to avoid root lodging.In addition to poor root systems, some of the corn crop’s nitrogen has been lost due to saturated soils and denitrification. Drought conditions throughout July and August has stressed the corn crop during the critical periods of pollination and grain fill. In addition to reduced yield, a lack of nitrogen and stress during grain fill will result in the corn plant cannibalizing its stalk to complete the grain fill process. Stalk strength and quality may be a problem fields with the potential for compromised stalk quality should be harvested first to avoid losses to due stalk lodging.