Green Snap in Corn

RL (Bob) Nielson, Purdue Agronomy

Strong winds can cause several variations of stalk lodging or breakage in corn. Young corn plants that are yet in the rapid growth phase prior to tasseling are often vulnerable to a particular type of damage by strong winds that is referred to as “green snap”. This damage occurs in plants in which stalk internode elongation is occurring rapidly, prior to the strengthening lignification of the outer stalk tissue. Affected plants literally snap just above a stalk node in response to straight line winds or storm downdrafts. Plants that break below the harvestable ear obviously contribute nothing to eventual grain yield. Plants that break above the developing ear may yet contribute something to grain yield, though kernel number and/or weight will be less than optimum.

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