Beer Can Ear Syndrome Corn

Beer Can Ear Syndrome Corn
Edward R. Forte November 27, 2021

Corn

Beer Can Ear Syndrome Corn

Interestingly, the symptoms of BES appear to be restricted primarily to the development the ear.Interestingly, kernel row number at the butt end of these ears appears to be reasonably normal.Part way up the ear, however, cob and kernel row development simply cease.The half-length size of the cobs suggests that ear development was stopped at approximately leaf stages V8 to V9.Because ear development is arrested or stopped completely and suddenly (normal row numbers, then nothing), the cause of the problem would appear to be a single triggering event, not a lingering stress like nutrient deficiency or soil pH.One possible cause of BES could be the application of certain post-emergence herbicides (growth regulators or ALS-type) during the period of row number determination (V5 – V12).While possible, this cause can be ruled out because of the diversity of herbicide programs encountered in documented cases of BES.Indeed, research reported from Belgium (Bechoux et al., 2000; Lejeune and Bernier, 1996; Lejeune et al., 1998) documented that chilling injury at the time of ear and tassel initiation (about V5) could prevent ear initiation altogether or reduce tassel branch and spikelet formation.Temperatures in the high 40’s to low 50’s may be sufficient to injure meristematic regions of the corn plant, especially if temperatures during the days preceding the chilling injury were warm to excessively warm.The existence of BES is not evident from the road unless or until severely affected (nearly barren) plants turn bright red or purple later in August or early September.Secondly, a new Ph.D. student working with me has begun a research project to investigate the possible link of chilling injury with the development of BES symptoms in corn.Briefly, the project involves the use of controlled environment growth chambers to “cold shock” young corn plants at several selected pre-pollination leaf stages.Needless to say, this student is also very much interested in documenting background information about “real world” occurrences of this phenomenon if they arise this year.Environmental effects on the early stages of tassel morphogenesis in maize (Zea mays L.).Effect of environment on the early steps of ear initiation in maize (Zea mays L.).Lejeune, Pierre, Prinsen, Els, Onckelen, Henry Van, and Bernier, Georges.Hormonal control of ear abortion in a stress-sensitive maize (Zea mays) inbred.Evaluation of Golden Harvest Corn Hybrids for Blunt Ear Syndrome.Effect of Methyl Bromide and Golden Harvest and Pioneer Corn Hybrids under Two Irrigation Managements on Blunt Ear Syndrome at Fruita, Colorado 1999.How Blunt Ear Syndrome of Corn is Affected by Hybrid and Irrigation at Fruita, Colorado 2000.For other Corny News Network articles, browse through the CNN Archives at http://www.kingcorn.org/news/index-cnn.html.It is the policy of the Purdue Agronomy Department that all persons shall have equal opportunity and access to its programs and facilities without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, or disability.

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Corn: 'Beer-Can' Ears – How Did This Happen? – DTN – AgFax

An agronomist in central Illinois recently sent me an email reporting corn ears with 16 or even 18 rows around but limited length, only 20 to 22 kernels long.The agronomist told me over the phone that these blunt ears were completely filled to the tip but just short and lacked kernels.The term “beer-can ear” isn’t new; an internet search reveals hits dating back 20 years.Purdue University corn expert Robert Nielsen pointed out in a 2001 web article, “Because ear development was apparently arrested or stopped so completely and suddenly (normal row numbers, then nothing), the cause of the problem would appear to be a single triggering event, not a lingering stress like nutrient deficiency.”.Nielsen also pointed out that a chilling injury could cause arrested ears and cited an example in 2001 when nighttime temperatures dropped into the 40s at the V8 to V9 stage.Interestingly, the Illinois agronomist pointed out the symptoms were usually found halfway between drowned out spots and the top of a hill.This suggests an interaction between stage of plant development and chilling injury associated with a drop in nighttime temperature below 50 F.In the recent Illinois situation there seems to have been an odd combination of events including variable soil wetness due to excess rain, delayed plant development and cold nights that triggered arrested ear development in particular regions of the field when plants were at their most vulnerable state. .

'Beer Can' Ear Syndrome

aturday football games in Ross-Ade Stadium, tailgate parties and beer cans; ah, yes, the familiar signs that classes are in session at Purdue again.Interestingly enough, a few corn fields out in the state seem to be supporting the cause by their exhibition of a peculiar oddity known as 'beer can' ears.Because ear development was apparently arrested or stopped so completely and suddenly (normal row numbers, then nothing), the cause of the problem would appear to be a single triggering event, not a lingering stress like nutrient deficiency.One possible cause could be the application of certain post-emergence herbicides (growth regulators or ALS-type), but none were applied to the fields I visited last week.Indeed, research reported from Belgium (Bechoux et al., 2000; Lejeune and Bernier, 1996) documents the potential for chilling injury at the time of ear and tassel initiation (about V5) to prevent ear initiation altogether and reduce tassel branch and spikelet formation.The nearest weather reporting station to the field I visited in Wells County was at Bluffton.Interestingly, there was a single night of cold temperatures down into the high 40's at about the time the crop should have been at the V8 to V9 stages of development.That leaf stage range is similar to what the length of the cobs suggests was the time of arrested development.The first rash of reports in dent corn occurred in 1992, that year often lovingly referred to as our 'ice age' summer because of the season-long unusually cool temperatures.The problem was last reported in 1996 in parts of northern Indiana and Ohio, most frequently in fields planted during the last two weeks of May.Several nights of temperatures in the mid- to high 40's were reported that summer during the time when these late-planted fields were also estimated to be at leaf stages V8 to V9.However, the possibility that chilling injury may be a contributing factor to its occurrence is interesting from the viewpoint that far less research has been conducted on the injurious effects of cold temperatures on corn reproduction than on those effects due to heat stress or drought.Environmental effects on the early stages of tassel morphogenesis in maize (Zea mays L.).It is the policy of the Purdue Agronomy Department that all persons shall have equal opportunity and access to its programs and facilities without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, or disability. .

Corn Ear Malformations: A Briefing on the Possible Causes

Off label pesticide applications, temperature and moisture stress, diseases and insects and nutrient imbalances can all result in ear malformations.Non-GMO corn growers may use Accent in the post emergence herbicide tank mix to control annual grasses.The risk of pinched ears can be minimized by scouting early and making those applications before corn reaches V6.Corn that has been severely affected by drought will often have smaller, nubbin type ears, sometimes even having sporadic areas on the cob and even the tips with no kernels, due to the lack of pollination (Fig.Arrested ear syndrome is typically caused by early applications (prior to tasseling-VT) of fungicides with an adjuvant.Adjuvants can certainly aid fungicide distribution on the leaf but when sprayed prior to VT, particularly at V12-V14, injury and ear malformations can result.For this reason it is very important to stage the crop prior to application to determine whether an adjuvant can be added in the tank or not, and if uncertain wait until tassel has emerged. .

Beer Can Corn Ears

Cold shock or late applications of herbicides/fungicides, insecticides, foliar fertilizers or spray adjuvants may be possible causes of Blunt Ear Syndrome.Drought, extreme temperatures, saturated soils, nutrient deficiencies, disease, insect injury and misapplied chemicals can all be culprits. .

Diagnosing Corn Ear Abnormalities

Ohio State University Extension’s Agronomics Crop Team has developed a Web site and supporting materials to aid growers in diagnosing abnormal corn ear disorders and other related conditions.“Ear abnormalities or disorders are perennial problems occurring somewhere in Ohio every year,” says Peter Thomison, an OSU Extension corn agronomist and a member of the Agronomics Crop Team.“The purpose of both the Web site and the poster is to assist corn growers and agricultural professionals in diagnosing various ear disorders, and adjust management of the crop accordingly,” Thomison says. .

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