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The P&PDL Picture of the Week
for 10 February 2003

Scrambled Silks

Bob Nielsen, Agronomy Department, Purdue University

The term 'Scrambled silks' refers to that phenomenon wherein silk elongation, prior to their emergence from the husk leaves, is interrupted or altered, resulting in a mass of scrambled silks near the tip of the cob that never fully emerge from the husk. Another name for this problem is 'silk balling'.

Obviously, any silks that fail to emerge from the husk will not be exposed to any pollen and consequently will not contribute to the formation of kernels on the cob. The net result is some degree of barrenness on the cob and, consequently, lower yield.

Online reference: http://www.kingcorn.org/news/articles.00/SilkBalling-0718.html

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Last updated: 7 February 2003/amd
The Plant & Pest Diagnostic Laboratory at Purdue University