Corn roots that are able to grow straight down into the ground help ensure your yields at harvest go up. That thought seems elementary enough and perhaps even simplistic, but the fact is too many corn crops don’t achieve that objective, according to Missy Bauer, Farm Journal associate field agronomist.
Instead, farmers’ tillage practices often create density layers which restrict root growth and cause roots to grow horizontally. Shallow-growing roots don’t weather environmental stresses well and are unable to absorb adequate water and nutrients during the growing season.
Bauer shares two contrasting examples of corn root growth in the following video. You’ll quickly see the problems that occur as a result of a soil density layer and how they impact corn ear development.
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