Heat, drought cause Missouri corn pollination missteps

There are pollination issues in the hot and dry parts of the Corn Belt.  University of Missouri grain crop specialist Greg Luce tells Brownfield Missouri’s heat and drought are disrupting corn pollination.

“A lot of growing degree units accumulated drives the corn along and it could get out of sync,” said Luce, in an interview with Brownfield Ag News at the Bradford Research Center Crop and Soil Management Workshop.  “Either the tassels came out and silks weren’t there yet, or even vice versa.”

The situation is further complicated, said Luce, when there’s not much temperature relief at night.

“High nighttime temperatures can keep the energy reserves from getting where they need to be,” said Luce, “it can be expended in the plant keeping the plant cooler and not energy going to the grain, so we could have some problems there.”

Heat and drought following successful pollination will cause end kernels on the ear to abort, said Luce, which will hurt yield.

AUDIO: Greg Luce (5 min. MP3)


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