P&PDL Picture of the Week for
December 12, 2005

Kernel Sprouting on the Ear

Bob Nielsen, Purdue Agronomy

Remnants of several hurricanes meandered throughout southern Indiana in late August and early September. Strong winds and heavy rainfall worked together to literally flatten corn fields in some areas. Ears on a percentage of these flattened plants were laying partially or completely on the moist soil surface for the remainder of the season. It has been documented by others that once grain moisture drops below about 19% moisture, kernels are capable of sprouting if rewetted. Indeed, kernel sprouting was widely evident in many of these flattened corn fields.

Click image to enlarge

View of flattened area of field

View of flattened area of field

View of flattened area of field

View of flattened area of field

Sprouting on ear laying flat on soil surface

Sprouting on ear laying flat on soil surface

Sprouting on tip of ear in contact with soil surface

Sprouting on tip of ear in contact with soil surface

Sprouting on butt of ear

Sprouting on butt of ear

Purdue Plant & Pest Diagnostic Lab Purdue Cooperative Extension Service