What Is Corn Ear Tip Back?
Aug 20, 2010
Question: What causes corn tip back? I’ve been hearing that phrase quite a bit lately.
Answer: Unfortunately, we’re hearing about and seeing quite a bit of tip back, too. It means that corn pollination wasn’t fully successful, so the tips of the ears were unable to fill with kernels or were aborted. Either way, the result is lower yields than what might have been possible under better conditions. A variety of stresses can contribute to this problem, and it just depends on the year. This year, I believe two of the main culprits are a lack of nutrients, particularly nitrogen, some of which may have been leached by rains earlier in the season, and the high temperatures a lot of the Midwest has encountered over the past four to six weeks. Insects, disease and drought can also contribute to the problem.
The main factors affecting nitrogen loss are weather, temperature and drainage.
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