Corn Conundrums: Will excessive rain or heat have more of an impact on the U.S. corn crop?

Agronomists are now warning corn growers to brace themselves for greensnap. The term refers to the breakage of corn stalks by violent winds and while it can be a chronic problem in some states, others are hit or miss.

An LG Seeds Agronomist told DTN that greensnap is more common in good growing conditions because the plant responds and grows more quickly.

This allows less time for lignin to develop in the plant, leading to breakage in the stalk. The risk rises when crops are under irrigation or when they receive rain, as plant cells are more prone to snapping when swollen with water.

While excessive rain can lead to greensnap, excessive heat can also pose its own challenges for the crop.

An Agronomy Manager with Pioneer says that while some heat impacts are obvious, others are not. Speaking to Farm Progress, he explains that high temperatures increase transpiration, accelerating drought stress.

Heat stress can also slow plant growth by closing leaf stomates, which limits gas exchange crucial for photosynthesis.

The agronomist highlights that a temperature increase from 80 to 95 degrees doubles the water demand for corn.

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