Droopy ears a sign of August stress on corn

An agronomist is seeing signs of plant stress in corn fields that suffered from hot, dry conditions in August.

Matt Vandehaar covers central Iowa for Pioneer and says ears are drooping in areas that missed substantial rains last month.

“There is concern if it drooped or it declined prior to black layer, as we know (when) you shut off that source of sugars to fill that kernel, doing that early can be detrimental to yield depending on the timing of it.”

He tells Brownfield it’s difficult to approximate the yield impact.

“Whether it’s half milk line (or) three-quarter milk line. Luckily we’re near the end here so not too much was ahead of half milk line, but we can certainly see some smaller kernel sizes due to that if it did happen early.”

Vandehaar says there’s data showing if a corn plant dies at half milk line, yield could be reduced as much as 15 percent.

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