Purdue Extension Agriculture Agronomy The Kernel Corny News

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Corny News Network

May 2022
URL: http://www.kingcorn.org/news/timeless/PondingYoungCorn.html
High Water sign

Effects of Flooding or Ponding on Corn Prior to Tasseling

R.L. (Bob) Nielsen
Agronomy Dept., Purdue Univ.
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054
Email address: rnielsen at purdue.edu
Twitter: @PurdueCornGuy


BOTTOM LINE: The consequences of flooding, ponding, and saturated soils on young corn depend heavily on the duration of the stress and temperatures.

Intense rainfall events (colloquially referred to as “toad stranglers” or “goose drownders”) flood low-lying corn fields and create ponding (standing water) in poorly drained areas (depressions, compacted soil) within other fields. Other areas within fields, while technically not flooded or ponded, often remain saturated for lengthy periods of time. Recurrent heavy rainfall events simply "add insult to injury" by re-wetting, re-ponding, and re-flooding the same areas of the fields.

What are the prospects for recently submerged corn fields or plants simply enduring days and days of saturated soils? The flippant answer is that suffering crops will survive until they die.

What I really mean is that no one can tell you with certainty the day after the storm whether a ponded area of a corn field will survive or whether there will be long-term yield consequences until enough time has gone by such that you can assess the actual recovery of the damaged plants. We can, however, talk about the factors that increase or decrease the risks of severe damage or death to flooded soils.

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Plant death by submersion

Related Reading

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Ciampiatti, Ignacio, Dorivar Ruiz, & Stu Duncan. 2021. Effect of standing water and saturated soils on corn growth. eUpdate, Kansas State Univ. Extension. https://eupdate.agronomy.ksu.edu/article_new/effect-of-standing-water-and-saturated-soils-on-corn-growth-445-1 [accessed May 2022].

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