Why Some Corn Ears Tip
Syngenta agronomists at the 2016 Farm Progress Show in Boone, IA, said they are seeing corn ears tip back about one inch this year. A tipped ear is where the cob head bends back slightly and results in a loss of several end kernels, just as the first corn ear pictured to the far left above does.
Though many growers are still counting a good number of ears that are 32-34 kernels long, some kernels have still been lost due to the high temperatures in Iowa this season. While corn can often handle temperatures up to 93 degrees, Iowa growers saw several days in the mid-nineties this summer. In addition, the unusually high number of warm nights and early mornings had an impact on kernel loss.
Right at and after pollination is an especially critical temperature window for ear tips because these stages are a prime time for kernel growth.
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