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Zambia: Zambia Corn Availability Appears Sufficient Despite Lower Production

Despite lower production in marketing year (MY) 2022/23, Zambia’s production of its staple crop, corn, will be sufficient to meet domestic demand. Zambia’s corn crop is forecast to decline by 25 percent to 2.7 million metric tons (MMT) in MY 2022/23, after producing a record crop 3.6 MMT in MY 2021/22. Over the past 20 years, Zambia more than doubled corn production through a combination of increased area and productivity, turning the country into a net exporter of corn. Despite the decline in production, Post estimates that Zambia could export about 700,000 MT of corn in MY 2022/23 on record carry-over stocks from the previous marketing year. The Zambian government assured traders that the country will comply with regional and international trade protocols and avoid export restrictions in MY 2022/23.

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Common Smut in Corn: How to Identify and Manage

Video: Common Smut in Corn: How to Identify and Manage

In this video, Pioneer Field Agronomist Rex Brandon shows how to identify common smut in your corn fields, what smut is, and how it can be managed. Common smut is a fungus that can be found anywhere corn is grown. It can survive in the soil over winter and occurs more in fields with high nitrogen and high organic matter. Sand blasting from wind, or anything that can break down the leaf cells can allow smut to thrive. Good plant health and managing the amount of nitrogen applied to the corn can help manage and prevent common smut from propagating. Keeping corn healthy, injury free, and preventing stress can also help. Insect feeding is another entry point for common smut, so keeping insects off your corn can also help prevent it. Hybrid selection also plays a role, if you have high historical common smut pressure, consider selecting a hybrid that has higher tolerance for common smut.