Ignacio Ciampitti – River Valley FD

(Conrad) AG am in Kansas recently had the opportunity to visit with K-State Research and Extension at the River Valley Experiment Day in Rossville, Kansas. One of the researchers discovered several abnormal problems with corn, such as banana shaped ears, arrested ears and exposed ears. (Ignacio) So tassel ears in corn are produced when we have corn that was delayed coming into flowering stage. And it was local population or situations incorn very frequent in tillers. And these plants are delayed and tend to place the ear on the top of the plants. Another abnormality in corn is the banana shape. And most of the time we tend to see that kind of thing, banana shape production in situations that are coming before flowering. When we are talking about 15 leaves in corn two or three weeks before flowering, any kind of a stress situation heat, drought or any misapplication, off the label, off insecticide, fungicide can produce some abnormalities in corn. The banana shape specifically, it can be related for a factor that is affecting the ear elongation. Anything that is affecting one side of the ear elongation process before flowering it would produce the ear to bend, then it would be curving and the main problem that we would have when the banana shape is being produced is that from that moment until the end, we will be seeing that some of the kernels, partial rows or entire rows will be effected. Most of the time another factor would be the exposed ears. Exposed ears we tend to see more frequently, I mean was last year here in Kansas. And one of the main situations and explanations so what we see with those exposed ears are a chance really to simply to situations that conditions that are stressing corn at flowering, so the ear elongation process is being effected and then anything that is coming after flowering when the conditions are being released, the ears tend to keep elongating. So the husk tend to remain small and the ear tend to go out growing the husk. What happens with those situations when the ears are outgrowing the husk, the ears are getting exposed and they are susceptible to any kind of a stress or any kind of pathogens, insects, or all disease. Another factor is the ear stunted corn. We tend to see the ear stunting corn situations and the ears are not growing and they are keeping very small. So in that situation there is a physical restriction. So in this situation the number of kernels inside of the ear is small just because the size of the ear tends to be effected. One of the things that we need to recognize is that all these different types of abnormalities in corn ears tend to affect the final yield potential. And how we get to see that effect are in different ways. When you are talking about the tassel of the ears, we tend to see in those situations those ears are not really continuity match to the yields. They are ears, they are just placed there and in a couple of weeks after flowering they tend to abort. So when the questions are coming and asking if those ears are adding to the yield, we say most of the time those ears are not really adding anything to the yield. And a following up question is if those ears are reducing or imparting yields, and it’s exactly the same the effect is very neutral. When you are talking about all the type of abnormalities such as banana shape or stunted ears or exposed ears, anything of these abnormalities will be affecting the final number of grains. And just one example if you have affects only ten percent of production of kernel number you may have some quality reductions in yields, it can go from five bushels to maybe 20 bushels. So the abortion that we have on the final numbers after flowering is an important factor that we need to consider when we are producing corn.

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