Corn does not perform well under stress
Stress is bad for us, but it is also bad for crops like corn. Managing crop stress can protect yield potential and weed control is a good place to start.
Syngenta’s Chad Threewits says that weeds can fundamentally alter corn growth and when they are already present at corn emergence, it is an immediate source of stress.
“As soon as they start to emerge the corn starts to react differently. The corn plants tend to try to outgrow those weeds. They try to get taller,” he states. “Unfortunately, the alternative thing that happens is we get a lack of root growth. So, you get a taller plant, less roots, and then a lot of times those corn plants will want to grow down the row, instead of out into the row. When you do that, you’re just getting less sunlight and, unfortunately, it’s not really optimum for a corn plant in early season.”
The lack of roots then contributes to more stress later in the season when drought, heat, and insects begin to affect the crop.