CORN PLANTS’ FLOODING SURVIVAL PROSPECTS

Examine the color of the corn growing point.

While the growing point is just at or below the soil surface (prior to V5-V6 stage), corn can only survive two to four days in totally saturated soil conditions. Cool temperatures prolong survival rates, however very warm temperatures above 75◦ F may shorten that survival period to 24 hours. Larger corn plants can withstand saturated soils and shallow ponding, but not extended submersion of the growing point.

To confirm plant survival, examine the color of the corn growing point. In corn plants with 6 leaf collars visible (V6), the growing point will be in the crown of the corn seedling, just above the soil surface. In larger corn, look progressively higher in the stalk. Split the stalk lengthwise to reveal the structure shown in photo above. A healthy growing point should be white and cream colored, while darkened, softened tissue usually indicates that plant death is imminent.

Monitor the field for new leaf growth 3 to 5 days after water drains from the field.