Corn Fertility: Let Soil Fertility Analysis Be Your Guide
Presented by Dwayne Beaty
Arkansas Consultant: Corn, Rice, Soybeans, Wheat
"So many times we underestimate the fertility needs of the crop," says Dwayne Beaty. While he has a strong background in corn fertility, he will be relying mostly on experience rather than clear cut data in his presentation. "Follow the label recommendations when applying fertilizer, and, generally you can expect to yield accordingly. It's worth the effort to do the soil sampling and then match fertilizer applications with the soil fertility analysis recommendations," he says. Beaty received his bachelor's degree from the University of Arkansas in Monticello, and his master's from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, both in agronomy. He worked on research projects with the University of Arkansas for 20 years then went with Pioneer HiBred for seven years, retiring there in March 2016 before going into consulting work. He consults on 9,000 acres of corn, rice, soybeans and wheat.

An Overview Of 2017 Corn Crops From A Crop Consultant's Perspective
Presented by Joey Branch
Arkansas Consultant: Corn, Cotton, Rice, Soybeans, Wheat
Crop consulting has been his life! For Joey Branch, it all began at age 14 while in junior high a cousin hired him as a scout. Today he has completed 10 years of service as a consultant for ProAg Services, and his presentation will help farmers better understand the do's and dont's of raising corn, drawing on the successes and failures of the 2017 corn crop. Branch received his bachelor's degree in ag business in 2004 from Arkansas State University. He is a Certified Crop Advisor and a licensed Crop Consultant for the state of Arkansas.

Insect Management In Field Corn
Presented by Dr. Don Cook

Research Entomologist, Mississippi State University
The major insect pests of field corn in the Mid-South include early season/soil insects, stink bugs, and corn borers. A complex of insect pests can attack corn during early vegetative development. This complex includes wireworms, southern corn rootworm, white grubs, seedcorn maggot, cutworms, and chinch bug. Stink bugs can damage corn during the early vegetative growth stages and during early ear development. The corn borer complex, which includes southwestern corn borer, sugarcane borer, and European corn borer, can infest field corn during both the vegetative and reproductive growth stages.

Corn Diseases: A Consultant's View Of What We Encounter In The Mississippi Delta
Presented by Lauren Green
Mississippi Consultant: Cotton, Corn, Soybeans, Grain Sorghum
Mississippi Farmer: Corn, Soybeans, Grain Sorghum

Green is very well acquainted with the diseases attacking corn in the Mississippi Delta. The main diseases are northern corn leaf blight, southern and common rust and occasionally an ear with Diplodia. Treatments depend on the disease and the time it shows up, whether harvest is near or there are weeks or months to go. Treatment is gauged on a field-by-field basis. Green received a Bachelor of Science degree in ag pest management in 2002 from Mississippi State, and has been consulting since then. The fourth generation farmer began farming in 2008, using some property that has been in the family and some that is rented. On his own 700 acres he raises corn, soybeans and grain sorghum.

Narrow Row Spacing For Mid-South Corn Production
Presented by Brien Henry
Arkansas Consultant: Corn, Cotton, Rice, Soybeans, Wheat
Narrow row spacing (19" centers compared to 38" centers) was evaluated at Mississippi State, Verona and DREC in 2017. Populations for the different research trials ranged from 25K to 65K plants per acre. At MSU, plot yields appears to have been optimized around 40-45K ppa. Depending upon hybrid, yield ranged between 280 bu/a to just over 300 bu/a in replicated plots. 19" row spacing resulted in yields 15 to 16% greater than equivalent plots on 38" row spacing across almost all treatment combinations regardless of hybrid or population. Methodology, possible limitations, and future research plans will be discussed.

Management Practices For High Yielding Corn
Presented by Dr. Jason Kelley
Wheat and Feed Grains Extension Agronomist, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture
Fields trials were conducted in the Delta Region of Eastern Arkansas from 2013-2017 evaluating potential ways for producers to increase corn yields and overall profitability. Numerous inputs were evaluated including increasing plant populations, additional fertilizer, starter fertilizer, foliar fungicides, deep tillage, and micronutrients. Each input was evaluated individually and then all inputs combined together. The yield and economic results from these trials will be discussed.

Record Corn Yields - How Did That Happen?
Presented by Dr. Erick Larson
State Corn Specialist, Mississippi State University
Mid-South corn producers were generally blessed with favorable growing conditions which enhanced corn yields to record levels during 2017. Although we can't control seasonal environmental conditions, knowing what the crop needs to optimize its performance will definitely make you a better corn farmer and enhance your profitability in the future. Numerous factors will affect corn productivity and which are most limiting may vary from field to field as well as when they occur, so improving your ability to identify those which will impact your crop are critical. Some of the primary challenges we often face include multiple aspects of nutrient management, soil/water relations, and various facets of planting and stand establishment. Understanding how various factors interact with the crop, we will explore management options which offer potential to enhance corn productivity or reduce risk associated with environmental issues common in this region.

Managing Foliar Diseases Of Corn In The Mid-South
Presented by Trey Price
Assistant Professor - Field Crop Pathology, LSU AgCenter - Macon Ridge Research Station
Corn may be affected by a number of foliar diseases throughout the growing season in the mid-south. Northern corn leaf blight and southern rust are annual concerns in the lower Mississippi River Valley, and the 2017 season was no exception. There are disease management options and strategies available for producers that may reduce the overall effect of diseases while preserving yields and maintaining economic sustainability.

Stine HP Corn Development
Presented by Kevin P Ryan
Regional Sales Agronomist, Stine Seed Company
More than 80 years of data indicate that higher yields are a direct result of more plants per acre, so Stine is creating hybrids that allow growers to push populations dramatically higher. These hybrids, which are shorter and narrower in stature, have the stalk strength and disease package to thrive in high populations. These new genetics, paired with narrower rows, will shape the future of corn production.

Conventional Corn Head Versus Stalk Master
Presented by Steve Skelton
Mississippi Farmer: 3,300 Acres Corn, Soybean
Skelton finds he can save time and money by using the Stalk Master corn head rather than the conventional. With Stalk Master, there are less passes across the field. He admits the unit is more expensive, but he has the figures that justify the purchase. He also will show slides of his four years of experience that justify the expense by difference in crop photos and tillage. He grew up on a farm and began farming on his own by raising cotton in 1977, then changed to corn and soybeans when the cotton market plunged. Skelton attended Mississippi Delta Community College and studied farm agriculture management.