Corn Stand Loss
The perfect corn stand emerges and then you scout again and corn plants are dying or missing. After emergence, this is the stage when the plant is transitioning from the being dependent on the seed to establishing roots and capturing sunlight. Our corn is past this stage but looking at many fields, I have seen many problems that occurred during this time.
The swings in temperature led to many fields with corn seedlings turning a yellow color this spring. The corn plant was running out of the seed’s energy before the nodal roots were established. The plants were starving and needed heat and sunshine.
During this transition, the plant is weakened and susceptible to stresses. This can lead to many problems. For example, planting in wet soils resulted in poor establishment of root systems. I noticed many dead plants in wheel tracks that were in the fields.
In addition, saturated soil conditions affected corn growth. Plants, if they survive in wet field areas, are slower to grow and emerge later than the surrounding field. Also, plants may have corkscrewed mesocotyls. The plants unfurl underground and do not emerge.
Be sure to scout fields and identify issues that affected your stands. Watch for pests. Weed control issues are of greatest concern now.
For more information, contact Wayne Flanary, Regional Agronomist at 660-446-3724, University of Missouri Extension.