Over-Extended Mesocotyls & "Floppy
Bob Nielsen, Extension Corn Production Specialist, Purdue
The term "floppy corn" simply describes
a plant that has fallen over because of the absence of an established
nodal root system. Affected plants may survive if the mesocotyl
remains intact and subsequent nodes of roots establish themselves
into the soil. If the mesocotyl breaks before successful establishment
of subsequent nodal roots, the plant dies. The causes of the poor
nodal root development varies from situation to situation.
This image gallery depicts "floppy corn" and
associated symptoms of over-extended mesocotyls from two no-till
fields. For more information, please see the accompanying article
Click image to enlarge
Two floppy corn plants
Closer view of dead nodal roots
of flopped corn plant
Flopped plant near death
Broken mesocotyl of flopped plant near death
Crown exposed 1/2 to 3/4 inch above ground, nodal roots
dead or dying, mesocotyl alive.
Same plant, illustrating that seed depth was technically
acceptable, about 1.5 inches below soil surface.