Understanding how corn ears respond to stress can help determine what stress was present, when the stress occurred, and how to mitigate the stress in the future.
Environmental stresses during any of four ear development stages significantly affect the number and weight of harvestable kernels. The four critical stages are: (1) when the corn ear is setting the maximum number of kernel rows around the ear (approximately V7), (2) when the ear is establishing the maximum number of ovules along the length of the ear (just before pollination), (3) when the maximum number of ovules are pollinated to form kernels (at pollination), and (4) when the ear sets maximum kernel size during the latter portion of grain fill (approximately R3 to R5).
The first yield component determined by a corn plant is the development of ovule rows on the ear, which begins at about the V7 growth stage. Each ovule row will eventually divide to produce a pair of rows.… Continue readingRead More »