Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Ear Drop in Area Cornfields

Last week while seeding cover crops in standing corn, we found several ears that had dropped. Also, as I was walking across corn rows, I knocked several ears off of plants. Northwest Missouri had wind damage that caused a lot of stalk breakage and lodging. This is another issue we need to watch for as we move into harvest.

Weather stress can increase ear drop. Looking at the plants where ear drop occurred, the shank was very weak. This summer we had a range of growing weather conditions. The season started dry, then turned to wet, then hot and so forth. Also, I have also noticed in many fields ears tipped-back so yields have been reduced by stress.

We encourage growers to scout fields to determine if they are having any lodging, ear drop or potential problems with fields. Some fields may need to be prioritized for early harvest.

For more information, contact Wayne Flanary at 660-446-3724 or Kurt Nagel at 816-776-6961, Extension Agronomists, University of Missouri Extension.

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