By Dave Nanda, Director of Genetics & Technology Seed Consultants, Inc.
Recently, in a crop-scouting trip, I noticed several dropped ears in a cornfield. Ear droppage does not usually occur so early in the season. So, what could be reasons for early ear droppage?
• There are several reasons for ear droppage in corn. Ear droppage may be caused by both genetic and environmental reasons. Corn breeders try to select against the experimental hybrids with a tendency to drop ears in order to eliminate the genetic component.
• Severe heat and drought stress, as we experienced this summer can lead to ear-droppage. Stress may affect the proper development of the shank (the small stem which attaches the ear to the stalk) attachment to the ears resulting in ear droppage.
• European corn borer in conventional hybrids can cause ear droppage. Larvae of the second brood of borer can tunnel into the shank and weaken the attachment of the ears to the shank. … Continue readingRead More »