P&PDL Picture of the Week for
January 11, 2010

Sandblasted Corn Plants

RL (Bob) Nielsen, Extension Corn Specialist, Department of Agronomy, Purdue University

Strong winds not only can damage young corn plants by their sheer force, but can also result in dramatic damage  leaf tissue by the accompanying abrasive effect of blowing soil particles near the soil surface.Plants as old as these can endure such above-ground leaf tissue damage with little measurable effect on yield at harvest. The "bent-over" appearance of the whorls will correct itself as the plants continue to develop. Some may endure twisted whorls a bit longer if the damaged leaf tissue interferes with normal whorl leaf expansion.Corn younger than those shown in the photos would likely be shredded by such force and would more likely be killed by repeated sandblasting events.

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Purdue Plant & Pest Diagnostic Lab Purdue Cooperative Extension Service