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Corn ear abnormalities

By Matt Hutcheson, Seed Consultants agronomist

While walking corn plots for fields as they get closer to maturity, it is not uncommon to observe some plant/ear abnormalities. One abnormality observed this time of year is a tassel ear. The picture is a tassel ear I observed recently while taking notes in a corn plot.

Corn plants are monecious, having both male (the tassel) and female (the ear) flowering structures. Occasionally, female reproductive structures develop on a tassel, allowing for kernel development. Typically observed on tillers (or suckers) these tassel ears do not develop with a husk covering the kernels and do not produce harvestable grain due to damage from pests and environmental conditions.

 

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