Heat-Stress and Lack of Moisture on Corn and Soybeans in SWNY

Joshua Putman, Field Crops and Forage Specialist
Southwest New York Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Program

July 16, 2020
Heat-Stress and Lack of Moisture on Corn and Soybeans in SWNY

Last week, SWNY was experiencing severe heat as well as symptoms of drought stress and seen in many crops. Corn leaves were rolling, soybean leaves were flipped, leaf tissue was turning grey, and there was no sight of rain. Luckily, much of SWNY received 0.5-2.0 inches of rain over the weekend. However, the period of time that the heat and moisture stress occurred may have affected our overall yields. Drought stress during vegetative stages results in reduced stem and leaf cell expansion (shorter plants with less leaf area). When drought stress is combined with heat stress, vegetative development will progress more rapidly. Any stress that occurs during the sixth to eighth leaf stage (V6-V8) can result in fewer kernel rows, whereas stress from eighth leaf to seventeenth leaf stage (V8-V17) can result in fewer kernels per row. Field Crop Specialist, Josh Putman, is seeing tasseled corn fields at heights of only 4.5-5ft throughout SWNY. Contact Josh if you have questions about your crops. For more information about the influence of drought on crops, check out this document by Iowa State University.




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