By Grant Mehring,NDCUC Contracted Research Director
It feels as though for the past month North Dakota has being hit by storm chase quality storms. These storms might be fun for storm chasers, however they are very bad news for crops. Different crops react differently to extreme winds that are created by these summer thunderstorms with some being affected greatly while others weather the storm better. The corn plant is a generally tough plant, but can succumb to green snap of the stem under high wind conditions.
Green snap can occur throughout the corn growing season, and the corn plant is affected differently when it occurs at different growth stages. Two locations to think about are the growing point of the plant and the ear node on the stalk. If green snap occurs before tasseling, the height of the green snap is critical. If the snap is below the growing point the plant will likely not produce an ear. If green snap occurs around tasseling, it will be all about where the ear node was in comparison to the snap. Dr. Joel Ransom from NDSU summarized some excellent information on green snap from a trial that I helped do research on in 2015 in this week’s crop and pest report. The report can be found here: https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/cpr/plant-science/green-snap-in-corn-07-21-16
There are a lot of factors that influence the extent of damage in a green snap situation including but not limited to: wind speed, corn hybrid, growth stage, buffers, and stalk lignification. Scout your fields for green snap, as there were already fields from past week’s storms that had green snap, and after Wednesday night’s winds in much of eastern ND, there will unfortunately be more.