Recent storms accompanied by strong winds have resulted in stalk lodging in localized areas across the state. Late season water stress in parts of Ohio may have predisposed corn to greater potential for stalk rots and lodging. The rapid maturation and dry down of corn this year may affect crop “intactness” and we’ve received reports of kernels falling off ears, reduced shank strength, ears dropping, lose husk coverage and exposed ears in some corn hybrids
For a corn plant to remain healthy and free of stalk rot, the plant must produce enough carbohydrates by photosynthesis to keep root cells and pith cells in the stalk alive and enough to meet demands for grain fill. When corn is subjected to drought stress during grainfill, photosynthetic activity is reduced. As a result, the carbohydrate levels available for the developing ear are insufficient. The corn plant responds to this situation by removing carbohydrates from the leaves, stalk, and roots to the developing ear.