Rapid Stalk Elongation Subject to Green Snap
Strong winds during recent storms may have broken corn stalks, according to an Ohio State University agronomist.
Peter Thomison says this condition, "green snap," should not be confused with pest damage. Common in high-wind states like Nebraska, green snap is showing up in Ohio this year, due to strong, localized storms occurring during the plant's elongation stage of development.
"Corn stalks are more prone to snapping during the rapid elongation stage of growth ... especially during the two-week period prior to tasseling," Thomison says.
Elongation is rapid with proper soil moisture and temperature, but stalks will be unusually brittle at this stage, Thomison says. The break usually happens along the nodal plates below the ear, he says.
Vulnerability to green snap varies among hybrids, but all hybrids risk some degree of injury when the plant grows rapidly before tasseling. "Once the crop tassels, green snap problems generally disappear," Thomison says.
Stalk brittleness also has been associated with the use of growth-regulator herbicides, especially when applied late or during hot weather and high humidity.