Corny Bouquets Can Be Troublesome for
R.L. (Bob) Nielsen, Extension Corn
Production Specialist, Department of Agronomy, Purdue University
An unusual oddity of corn growth and development has been reported
scattered fields throughout at least Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa
recent weeks. Years ago, I labeled this oddity a MESS (aka Multiple
on Same Shank) that was usually found only in the occasional corn
along the edges of a field. This year, the oddity can be more accurately
characterized as a problem because of the high percentages of plants
affected in some fields.
Multiple ears on a single plant are not unusual, but the multiple
usually develop separately from individual stalk nodes. The
oddity/problem being reported this season is one of multiple ears
originate from individual nodes on a single ear shank. A lengthier
discussion of this problem plus more images are available at
Click image to enlarge
Multiple ears on single plant, but two originating from same stalk
This type of multiple ear development is not as common
Closer view of double ear at same ear shank. Second ear attached
lower shank node.
Double ear originating from same ear shank, but second ear withered
as usually occurs.
A "bouquet" of 5 ears originating from the same ear shank.
A "bouquet" of 3 ears originating from the same ear shank.