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.
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.