As your Partners in Productions, our goal is to keep you updated on the latest information to assist you in making decisions to fit your operation.
We continue to get service calls and reports of some ear abnormalities spread across the area. Listed below is information on Short Husk Syndrome, as well as some additional (attached) information on abnormal ear development. Also attached is the OSU abnormal ear poster – nice addition to your iPad’s iBooks folder.
- Abnormal Ear Development
Periods of severe stress can do all sorts of strange things to crops. One oddity that has been reported by a number of folks this year is often described as "ears outgrowing their husks." The phenomenon is the result of stunted husk leaf development combined with fairly normal ear (cob) elongation. The primary symptom is that the ears elongate beyond the end of the stunted husk leaves, resulting in exposed kernels that are subject to insects, birds, and weathering effects. Kernels damaged by these factors are subject to fungal infection and the development of ear molds. If high percentages of ears are thus affected, then overall grain quality can be compromised.
The development of stunted husk leaves and exposed ears seems to be related to combination of severe stress before or during pollination that is then relieved in the initial weeks following pollination. The most common combination of conditions that results in this oddity is severe heat and drought stress that is then relieved by cooler temperatures and rainfall. The stunting of the husk leaves is similar to that which can occur in the whole plant when subjected to lengthy periods of heat and drought stress. The potential for husk leaf expansion and elongation seems to be permanently restricted while the ear (cob) is able to continue elongation upon relief of the stress.
While the combination of heat/drought stress relieved by cooler temperatures/rainfall seems to be the common thread among reports of ears outgrowing their husk leaves, other combinations of severe stress followed by sudden relief may also result in the stunting of husk leaves.
Here is a link from Purdue that gives a little more explanation about the short husk.https://www.agry.purdue.edu/ext/corn/news/timeless/EarHusks.htmlEvery year farmers are wondering whether it is cost effective to treat with a foliar fungicide for their corn. There are many different quiestions to ask when considering an application of foliar fungicide: What was the previous crop? What has the weather been? Does the field have a history of disease? What is the susceptibility level of the hybrid? These questions will help you answer whether or not you need a foliar fungicide application. One of the biggest questions is what is the yield potential on that farm and if there is adequate nutrients, nitrogen and water to reach that top end potential. Even if disease pressure isn't present fungicide will help keep plant healthier till harvest.The chart below shows how the different hybrids will respond to a foliar application for Gray Leaf Spot and Northern Leaf Blight. Contact Randy or Scott if you would like more information or to line up a foliar fungicide application! Check out the following articles from Pioneer about disease pressure and foliar fungicide for Corn:https://pioneer1.box.com/s/0pgzc9jab70k1yynkyq0k58q725ja8e