Splitting Corn Seedlings to Assess Plant Viability

May 14, 2010

By Roger Elmore and Lori Abendroth, Department of Agronomy

A hard freeze last weekend resulted in leaf loss in emerged corn seedlings across central and northern Iowa.  Several recent articles in ICM news provide insight on the situation.  Photos 1 and 2 here show damage in one field in Story County; corn was at about V2 when the frost occurred.

The need to assess plant stands by splitting stems was mentioned in Hard Freezes and Emerged Corn, a  recent ICM news article.  Additional photos  posted on our website provide an illustration of how to do this. There are also photos on this site of plants from this field that show the healthy growing point of a seedling frosted off at the ground level. If plants look like the one posted on our web page (or better), they will likely recover.

Photo 1. Frost on May 8-9 affected plants differently in side-by-side rows.  Story County IA photo by R. Elmore.

 

Photo2. Frost on May 8-9 affected plants differently within a row. Two plants on left were seemingly unaffected; the three on the right were were frozen to the ground. Story County IA photo by R. Elmore.

 

 

Roger Elmore is a professor of agronomy with research and extension responsibilities in corn production. Lori Abendroth is an agronomy specialist with research and extension responsibilities in corn production. Elmore can be contacted by email at relmore@iastate.edu or (515) 294-6655; Abendroth can be contacted by email at labend@iastate.edu or (515) 294-5692.

Links to this article are strongly encouraged, and this article may be republished without further permission if published as written and if credit is given to the author, Integrated Crop Management News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. If this article is to be used in any other manner, permission from the author is required. This article was originally published on May 14, 2010. The information contained within may not be the most current and accurate depending on when it is accessed.

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