Abnormal Corn Ear Development

Abnormal corn development can begin at the V5 corn growth stage, or when the 5th fully expanded leaf and collar occurs and ear shoot tissue development is initiated.1 Any stress during the V5 growth stage through early corn development can cause abnormal growth and development of reproductive plant tissues. Corn may experience one or more stresses, such as drought, extreme temperature, saturated soil, nutrient deficiencies, disease or insect injury, and misapplied pesticides. Many stresses result in specific malformations of the corn ear.2 Symptom recognition will help diagnose the causal factors of malformed ears.

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