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Green Snap in Corn (07/05/18)

Last week the weather systems that moved through the region brought some needed rain but also strong winds.

Green Snap in Corn

Last week the weather systems that moved through the region brought some needed rain but also strong winds. At one of our research location where we received little rain, we observed stalk breakage throughout the corn plots. This type of stem breakage is commonly referred to as green snap or brittle snap. Green snap occurs most commonly during the V5-V8 stages and from two weeks prior to tasseling until silking. During this latter stage of development, particularly when conditions for plant growth are favorable, tissues comprising the stalk are not fully lignified and are therefore prone to breakage when there are strong winds. Once stems have completed elongation and have lignified, they are quite resistant to snapping. At that point forward, root lodging will be more likely than “snapping”, particularly if rooting depth is limited.

Plants that snap below the ear node will likely not produce an ear. The later in the growth cycle that the snapping occurs the greater the yield loss as it is difficult for undamaged plants to compensate. This is particularly true of damage that occurs just prior to tasseling. The following table summarizes the results of three years of research where varying amounts of plants were broken off at the ear node at three different growth stages.

Hybrids can vary considerably in their resistance to green snap, but plant stage of development when a strong wind occurs can also affect whether a specific field is damage or not. Therefore, the same hybrid may suffer damage in one field and little in another simply due to differences in stage of plant development. Our research plots (near Casselton) where we observed green snap this season were planted to a hybrid that we had previously observed to be “resistant” to green snap suggesting that conditions were very favorable (high winds and susceptible stage of development) for this type of damage to occur.

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Joel Ransom

Extension Agronomist for Cereal Crops

 

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