Corn School: Early Frost and Goss’s Wilt May Take Bite Out of Yields

With reports of the first corn fields being harvested in Manitoba, producers will soon find out the extent to which early frost and Goss’s Wilt reduced yields.

Both frost and Goss’s cause premature drydown of the leaves, explains Dieter Schwarz, market development agronomist with Pride Seeds, in this Corn School episode.

“Once you’ve lost your green and healthy leaf, yield impact can be anywhere from five to 20 percent. That can be frost or disease,” he explains. “If the stalk is still green, the plant will still put energy into maturing the cob, so that’s why there’s a range.”

Related: Corn School: The “Push Test” — Will Corn Stay Standing Until Harvest?

After the leaf tissue has deteriorated it can be difficult to distinguish between frost or Goss’s, notes Schwarz. “Some plants have a little more blotchiness to them (indicating Goss’s), but it’s hard to tell.”

Also watch the “prequel” to this episode of the Corn School, where Dieter discusses how to assess plant health and stalk integrity prior to harvest.

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