Premature corn sprouting reported around Ohio

By Peter Thomison and Allen Geyer, Ohio State University Extension

We have received several reports of premature corn kernel sprouting across Ohio. A combination of factors, including erect ears, bird damage, ear molds, and wet weather, contribute to premature sprouting.

The problem is usually limited within fields but if it’s evident across a field, it has the potential to cause drying and storage problems. Fields showing widespread kernel sprouting should be prioritized for early harvest.

Kernel red streak is also present. With this kernel problem, red streaks form on the sides of kernels and extend over the crown; symptoms are most pronounced at the tip of the ear. Kernel red streak is caused by a toxin secreted during feeding by the wheat curl mite. Severity of symptoms varies among hybrids. The streaking develops in the pericarp but does not affect the feed or nutritional value of corn. The reddish discoloration is a cosmetic blemish, and may affect certain uses of food grade corn, and may thereby reduce premiums.

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