Twisted whorls, buggy whipping, yellow leaves

June 6, 2018 10:01 AM
Blog Post

Over the last week there have been sightings of twisted whorls and buggy whipping or corn leaves. It’s also known as rapid growth syndrome, accelerated growth syndrome, roping, wrapped whorls, and onion leafing, This is not unusual for corn that is growing rapidly and usually occurs in 5th to 7th leaf corn but can also occur as late as 12th leaf corn. Most of the time this occurrence is due to rapid growth as plants benefit from warm temperatures, rainfall after being dry, or development of nodal roots. Some genetics have a greater propensity for occurrence than others do. Growth regulator and acetamide herbicides can also be the culprit.

Typically these the wrapped whorls will unfurl in 3 to 7 days. The outer leaves will have a rippled appearance and the inner leaves will be yellow to white in appearance. As photosynthesis ramps up those yellow leaves will green up rapidly. The affected plants will have minimal, if any, impact on grain yield. The take home message is be patient and let nature take its course.


Mark Licht Associate Professor

Dr. Mark Licht is an associate professor and extension cropping systems specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. His extension, research and teaching program is focused on how to holistically manage Iowa cropping systems to achieve productivity, profitability and en...