Assessing Severity of Frost Damage in Corn

Channel Seedsman Andy Muff discusses the benefit of assessing severity of frost damage in Corn.

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Key Takeaways:

  • Determining whether a corn plant's growing point is above or below ground can help farmers assess potential damage after a frost. 
  • If the growing point is above ground, damage may be more severe and require replant. 
  • Buggy whipping in corn can be seen two to three weeks after a frost. Typically, the whorl is able to push through and straighten without an issue.

What benefits has the ability to assess the severity of frost damage in corn provided for your farm?

When we have a frost, a couple of things we look at for short-term impacts are the size of the corn. Is the growing point out of the ground yet or is it below the ground? If the growing point is below the ground, we see a lot of superficial or leaf damage that can only really impact yield if the leaf's wrap up, buggy whip and aren't able to unroll, which typically is not the case. If they're growing point is above ground, we have a much more serious situation, which we need to take a couple of days, reevaluate the crop and see if replanting is desired. Typically, two to three weeks after a frost situation, we see buggy whipping in the corn or the leaves that were frozen, wrapped around in the wind, and they have kind of bundled together, and the emerging whorl isn't able to push through those. Occasionally, that can cause some kinking or some white of the leaves. Eventually, and typically that whirl's able to push that open to start to regrow and straighten back out.

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