The fast growth stage of most of the corn is kicking in. This is the time when you can almost watch the corn plants grow. It is now starting to grow rapidly from puny little seedlings to the juvenile stage and become adults. Corn plants are ready to hit the grand growth stage.
At V7 stage, the corn plant is already deciding how many rows of kernels it can put on. Row numbers are always in pairs and primarily controlled by the hybrid genetics but environmental factors such as population, water and nutrient availability, heat and drought can influence it. Depending on the conditions, a couple of rows may be added or subtracted from the genetic potential of the hybrid.
• During V8-V9, potential ear shoots start to develop at every above ground node except the upper six to eight nodes. Only the upper one or two ear shoots eventually form the ears.
• V10-V11 stage, the plant starts to rapidly accumulate nutrients and dry matter. The new leaves appear every two to three days. Shortage of water and nutrients during this phase can reduce yield potential.
• At V12-V13 stage, lack of water or nutrients will reduce the potential number of kernels as well as the ear length.
• V14-V18 (Later maturity hybrids have more leaves) is the most critical period for determining the total number of potential kernels. Any stress during this period could drastically affect the yield. We are almost approaching the tassel and silk emergence. Let’s hope for the best!