Impact of hail and winds on corn in Kansas
A variety of weather events have recently affected Kansas summer row crops. Wind and hail damage in various areas of the state have presented a challenge primarily for the standing corn crop.
During June 14-20, winds more than 60-70 mph were reported in many areas across the state (Fig. 1). In some places, depending on the growth stage of the crop and the speed and duration of the winds, the damage was seen as corn plants leaning (Fig. 2). This effect can be exacerbated if the plants have not developed proper root systems due to the wet planting conditions experienced during late April and May planting time.
Figure 1. Weekly report of wind damage, storms from June 14-20 across Kansas.
Figure 2. Fields with corn with leaning effect from the storms, potentially exacerbated by the lack of proper root development. Photo by Ignacio A. Ciampitti, K-State Research and Extension.
Another factor that could concern producers this growing season is hail damage. The storms from June 14-20 brought hail to several places across the state (Figure 3). If defoliation from hail damage occurs before V5, the likelihood of losing yield is very small, even under severe defoliation. A report from the east central part of the state indicates some small damage to the leaves place in the upper section part of the canopy (Figure 4) but potential yield should not be impacted in this case. One of the most severe reports of hail damage came from the southwest part of the state, showing impacts on plants (Figure 5).
Figure 3. Weekly report of hail damage, storms from June 14-20 across Kansas.
Figure 4. Hail damage showing up in corn after storms from last week, east central Kansas. Photo by Ignacio A. Ciampitti, K-State Research and Extension.
Figure 5. Hail damage showing up in corn after storms from last week, southwest Kansas. Photo by Kaitlin Donovan, Western Corn Rep, Kansas Corn.
An accurate estimate of plant survival should be done in the coming days to more precisely determine damaged plants that will survive vs. missing plants – causing stand reductions. Young corn has a great capacity to recover from early-season hail damage.
Scout your fields and check for final number of plants and potential problems associated with these weather events.
Ignacio Ciampitti, Crop Production and Cropping Systems Specialist
Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library