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by email, contact RL (Bob) Nielsen.
Other Corny News Network articles can be viewed at the CNN
Corn Fields Shutting
ields of corn around Indiana, especially early-planted
ones, are in the process of shutting down for the season. While only 3 % of the
state's crop was estimated to be mature (i.e., kernel black layer) as of the
week ending 31 Aug, 41 % of the crop was estimated to be at dent stage or
beyond (Indiana Ag Stats Service, 2 Sep 2003).
The onset of maturity is naturally accompanied by an eventual senescence
of the entire solar harvesting "machinery", but some fields appear to be
shutting down prematurely and deserve to be monitored for potential stalk
health issues prior to harvest (Nielsen, 2003). The short-term forecast for
cool evening temperatures in the mid-50's or lower throughout much of the state
the remainder of this week will further accelerate premature senescence of
these stressed fields.
Plant stresses contributing to the premature "shutdown" of some fields
- Root systems compromised by saturated soil conditions caused by early
and mid-season "monsoon" events.
- Drier than normal conditions throughout much of August, accompanied
by stressful low to mid-90 F temperatures in the latter part of the month.
- Development of leaf diseases, including gray leaf spot and northern
corn leaf blight. The occurrence of the latter disease is interesting given
that many corn hybrids have good levels of resistance to this disease (Lipps
& Dorrance, 2003).
- Nitrogen deficiency resulting from soil nitrogen loss that occurred
earlier in the season following the "monsoon" events.
- Stalk tunneling caused by minor infestations of European or
Southwestern corn borer in some fields.
Identifying the cause(s) of premature "shutdown" this year may help you
identify management decisions for future years. For example, if leaf disease(s)
is the primary culprit this year, then be sure to include disease
tolerance/resistance as one of your primary hybrid decision factors next year.
- Lipps, Pat and Anne Dorrance. 2003. Corn Leaf Diseases
Increasing. Crop Observation and Recommendation Network, #28: August
25 - September 1, 2003. Available on the Web at
[URL verified 9/3/03].
other information about corn, take a look at the Corn Growers' Guidebook
©2003, Purdue University,
all rights reserved. It is the policy of the Purdue
Agronomy Department that all persons shall have equal opportunity
and access to its programs and facilities without regard to race, color,
sex, religion, national origin, age, or disability. Purdue University is an Affirmative Action
employer. This material may be available in alternative formats.
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