Assessing Effects of Recent Dust Storm on Emerged Corn

Assessing Effects of Recent Dust Storm on Emerged Corn May 17, 2018

  • Revisiting corn plants damaged by the May 11 dust/wind storm
  • Corn field damage
    Figure 1. Plant-to-plant variation is obvious in this field, but all plants sustained some damage. SCAL, May 15, 2018. Corn damaged by dust storm on May 10. (Photos by Roger Elmore and Jenny Rees (Figure 6 right)
  • Corn plants damaged by dust and wind
    Figure 2. (left) This plant lost its first through third leaves, but should recover. (right) Plant with first leaf missing and damage to the second and third leaves. This plant should also recover. Both were photographed at SCAL, May 15, 2018. Corn damaged by dust storm on May 10.
  • Corn leaves wrapping plant
    Figure 3. (left) A “tied” or “wrapped” plant. This plant may or may not recover. Stake plants like this to follow their recovery process and productivity. (right) Anothr tied/wrapped plant. The plant may recover but should not be considered as having high production potential. Stake plants like this to follow their recovery process and productivity. Both samples were taken at SCAL, May 15, 2018. Corn was damaged by a dust storm on May 10.
  • Split-stemmed wind-damaged corn
    Figure 4. Split stem of a tied/wrapped plant with a healthy growing point (same plant as in Figure 3). The plant would recover – if it hadn’t been uprooted! – but should not be considered as having high production potential. SCAL, May 15, 2018. Corn damaged by dust storm on May 10.
  • Wind-damaged corn
    Figure 5. (left) First and second leaves were destroyed, and the third leaf was frayed. The plant should recover. SCAL, May 15, 2018. Corn damaged by dust storm on May 10. (right) This plant emerged after the May 10 wind storm and thus is undamaged.
  • Corn plants limited by residue, wind
    Figure 6. (left) Plants covered by residue which may compromise recovery. Eastern Clay County, May 15. Corn damaged by dust storm on May 10. (right) Corn plant with first leaf desiccated and second leaf partially damaged. Clay County, May 13. Corn damaged by dust storm on May 10. (Right Photo by Jenny Rees)
  • Wind-damged corn
    Figure 7. Plant with first leaf completely damaged, second leaf partially damaged, and tip of third leaf – the part that was exposed to the wind – damaged.  Eastern Clay County, May 15. Corn damaged by dust storm on May 10.

Dust storms resulted from strong winds with gusts reported up to 70 mph early on Friday morning, May 11 across portions of Adams and Clay counties. Emerged, early-planted corn suffered leaf damage from blowing dust. A survey of several fields in the area this week indicated that most emerged plants within storm areas were affected to some extent but will survive and produce well. Plants that emerged later were not affected.

Our Initial Concern

Subsequent cloudy, cool, and damp conditions on Friday and over the weekend concerned us. Those post-storm conditions are not conducive to good corn growth and development and can unfortunately promote disease development, resulting in plant death. Fortunately, that did not happen with this event.

Damage Report

Most plants we observed after the storm had lost their first leaves, their second leaves were either completely or partially shredded, and the tips of third leaves on many plants were shredded as well. Leaf damage was more evident with corn planted into soybean stubble, at least at the South Central Agricultural Laboratory in Clay County. But, in that specific situation, corn following soybeans emerged earlier and thus was more developed than corn planted following corn. Increased tillage and lack of residue cover enhanced damage.

Rare plants were “tied” or “wrapped” – see Figures 3-4. Although they may eventually produce an ear, tied or wrapped plants should not be counted as viable plants if replanting is a consideration. Residue cover in some cases may compromise plant recovery (Figure 6). Other plants should survive and produce well.

Take This to the Field

Assess stands this week — plants should be recovering and growing well. If not, consider replanting.

Tags: