Originally published in Purdue Pest Management & Crop Production Newsletter (17 May 1996)

Silver Leaf Symptom in Corn

R.L. (Bob) Nielsen , Agronomy Department , Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1150

An earlier article discussed the effects of frost damage to young corn. Growers should also be aware that frost damage may not be severe enough to kill leaves outright. Radiational cooling of leaves on clear, calm nights with temperatures in the mid- to upper 30's may simply result in damage to the outer leaf surface. The subsequent symptom of such minor damage is what many refer to as 'silver leaf' in corn. The 'silver leaf' symptom indeed appears as silvery or dull gray upper leaf surfaces. The effect of this type of minor leaf damage is negligible, if any. The leaves will not die abruptly as will severely frosted leaf tissue. Continued expansion of the whorl will not be restricted in any way. New leaves that expand from the whorl will be normal in appearance. This symptom is more of a curiosity than a nuisance.

Return to the the Chat 'n Chew Cafe.

The Corn Growers Guidebook , a WWW resource for corn management systems in Indiana and the eastern CornBelt.

Purdue University Agronomy Extension WWW Home Page.

Purdue Agronomy On-Line! , Purdue's Agronomy Department WWW Home Page.

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