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Green Snap in Corn (07/21/16)

After the recent weather systems that moved through North Dakota, there were reports of green snap on corn in several region of the state.

Green Snap in Corn

After the recent weather systems that moved through North Dakota, there were reports of green snap on corn in several region of the state. Green snap is the term used to describe the breakage of corn stems usually at a node. Green snap occurs most commonly after the V-4 stage and before tasseling, particularly during periods of rapid vegetative growth. Once stems have completed elongation and have lignified, they are quite resistant to snapping. After pollination, root lodging may 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. This relationship is summarized in data we collected last year which included different timings of stem breakage as well as locations on the plant (see following table).

Hybrids 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 difference in stage of plant development.

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 Joel Ransom

Extension Agronomist for Cereal Crops

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