The three main problems we want to watch for following severe wind events in corn are greensnap, root lodging, and pinching.
- Greensnap is when the plant breaks at some point along the mainstem. This is most likely to occur in plants that have reached or exceeded the V8 growth stage, but should still be scouted for in younger plants. Most often, plants that have “greensnap” may not recover and potential yield losses may be correlated to the percent stand reduction.
- Root lodging from strong winds is most often found in plants that have surpassed the V13 growth stage and are nearing tassel. The roots on the windward side of the plant will be uprooted/exposed while the roots on the opposite side of the plant will be buckled below the soil surface. While this issue tends to effect more mature/heavier corn plants it should not be completely ruled out in younger corn plants. Past research has shown that root lodged plants can recover vertical growth, through “goosenecking”, without significant yield loss if the damage no later than 10 days prior to tasseling.
- Pinching is similar to greensnap but instead of actually breaking, the mainstem folds, or pinches. Corn plants will remain alive and can recover upright growth but yield loss may occur due to decreased efficiency in nutrient and water flow within the plant.
Overall, most of the corn in the state is young enough that it should recover without significant yield loss concerns. If you do find instances of greensnap, root lodging, or pinching, carefully consider the percent or stand affected, the original yield goal, value of inputs already applied, and potential yield loss from a later planting date prior to making any replant decisions.