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Old July 29, 2010   #1
tjg911
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Default blown down corn

anyone grow corn? i don't and i am curious about something.

when strong winds blow corn down like at a 45 degree angle or worse, is it possible for the corn to stand back up straight by itself? i'm sure the answer is no.

the reason i ask is because i saw a plot that was really knocked down due to a tornado in this area and a few days later it is straight up at 90 degrees! it's a small enough plot it may have been picked up by a person but even then i'd think the corn once pushed over would not stand up.

what about an entire field of corn like acres? is that a total loss to a farmer?

thanks
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Old July 29, 2010   #2
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Tom, I'm both a former farmer and a gardner who is raising sweet corn. The answer is, it depends. I've had every stalk of my sweet corn blown down this year, and all of it is standing up. One patch has been blown down twice, and is still up enough to harvest. If the corn is young, 24" or less, it'll stand back up and you'll never know it went down. Larger corn at the tassel stage will still stand back up, but will be "goosenecked" a bit at the ground. If the corn has started to develop ears, it's harder for it to stand up, and it'll stand partially, with "cradle rocker" stalks. That's the condition of my patch that was blown down twice. Still producing plenty of ears, though.

Having said all that, if field corn blows down that is fairly mature with a heavy ear and a stalk that has finished growing , it's not going back up at all....
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Old July 29, 2010   #3
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If it is creased(folded) at the bottom of the stalk, it will never stand up. This can happen with young corn and 60mph+ winds.
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Old August 1, 2010   #4
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thanks. this corn was about 3-4' tall and does not appear to have ears yet.

i am surprised, i'd have thought once blown down it couldn't stand up regardless of size but this is why i asked!

appreciate the info.

tom
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Old August 1, 2010   #5
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About 3 weeks ago, my two rows of sweet corn (original planting and second planting for a later crop) were both literally flattened by a wicked storm that came thru. 5 of my neighbors who also had rows of corn also lost theirs. Curious thing is that it didn't seem to matter which way the row was running (N to S, E to W, etc). The wind just laid all on the ground totally prone.

Two of the neighbors ripped the plants out. The rest of us left things to lay as they were. While the others have their plants mostly dying, Mine have bounced back and are now reaching for the sky again. I did nothing to help them. The wind damage is now hard to see. Actually, after only about 1 day after the damage, it was very evident that the plants were turning their tops toward the sky. Eventually, they "stood back up".

So, my answer is "YES". Under the right circumstances, they will stand back up.

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Old August 1, 2010   #6
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Well, my first planting is all on the ground now, but that's because I harvested every ear and mowed it down. this to get ahead of the coons who were harvesting more and more every night. We now have 24 quart bags in the freezer. The coons won't get it now! Don't know about the second planting, though. Round two coming up.....
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Old August 1, 2010   #7
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Mine gets blown down fairly frequently. I prop it back up if I can get to it quickly. If I can't, it will "photo-trope" its way upward again, but with the bend Puzzely speaks of. I have rarely lost corn to wind damage.
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Old August 4, 2010   #8
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i looked at it again yesterday and it's as straight as it you used a level!
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Old August 6, 2010   #9
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In my experience ive found its worth banging in stakes down the side of the corn block,the side that the strong winds tend to blow from,then run string along between the stakes so as to support the outside plants.
Seems to be enough to give protection for the inside plants.
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Old August 5, 2020   #10
JRinPA
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Default Corn Lodging

Bumping an old thread since this info as current to us now as it would have been 5000 years ago.

We had nearly 5" of rain yesterday from 7am to 2pm from the tropical storm coming up the coast. The wind picked up near the end and around 1pm my CRW cages (single row abreast to the wind) went over. Single bamboo bean poles broke with the weight. Late last night I checked the corn at the comm garden and all my corn was laid down. The rows run N S and everything was laid over like dominoes from the north to the south.

The roots are up a bit but not many stalks are broken.

This corn was planted mostly around July 1 as soil blocks and was up to about 4 ft for the earliest patch. The second patch a week younger and some from seed, but they all laid over the same. All are double rows with drip. It has been super fast growing, and was really looking spectacular before this.

I'm hurrying to read and then go fix if possible and found this thread. Also two good articles with some studies involved.

https://www.agweb.com/article/hail-a...-you-need-know
https://www.pioneer.com/us/agronomy/lodging.html
https://cropwatch.unl.edu/2020/wind-damage-corn

Quote from the last:
Quote:
Carter and Hudelson (1988) from the University of Wisconsin conducted a study where they manually pushed the base of corn plants perpendicular to row direction after irrigating to saturate the soil. The study was conducted for two years. They noted that within two days after lodging, the upper portion of plants became upright and subsequent timing of plant development was not impacted. However, more barren plants were observed when lodging occurred at later development stages, impacting yield. Corn lodged at V10-12 stages resulted in a 2-6% yield reduction. Corn lodged at V13-15 resulted in a yield reduction of 5-15%. Corn lodged after V17 resulted in a 12-31% yield reduction.
It sounds like I could leave it alone and expect losses up to 1/3 at this stage, but that it will probably come back. Nice to know there have been a few studies. I don't have any known problems with rootworms. I will be sure not to water for a while to help keep the stalks light as possible.

I'm going to go take a look now. Most of it was laid over past 30 degrees, some probably 15-20 degrees off the ground.

I was thinking about Florida Weaving it up for a week or so...but after reading I may leave it. My worry is not the time it would take, but causing additional greensnap.
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Old August 5, 2020   #11
JRinPA
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTciJPhFFFE
Found this video with some time lapse tests. Pretty neat. But notice that they laid them over to the side with very wide rows...much easier for them to stand up with nothing on top. Even sideways with those extra wide rows, the VT stage corn came up somewhat after a week, but pollination and then formation would be really iffy with many cobs laying on the ground.


(Forgot to submit post this at 7am.)
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Old August 5, 2020   #12
kath
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Sorry to hear about your corn, JR. I've had mixed results over the years with blown down stalks righting themselves, so I always hill around the base of plants as well as string them up in various ways. The worst results have come when they were downed at pollination time. So much work that I don't want to take the chance of losing them in gusty thunderstorms.
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Old August 6, 2020   #13
JRinPA
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Hey kath. It would be nice if hadn't laid over but that's nature and I learned some things about corn. I might hill them today. I have nice finished compost at home, but I didn't feel like hauling it over there yesterday evening. I was in fact moving the piles last evening, but the wheelbarrow felt so heavy moving 10 feet and dumping. I didn't feel like shoveling that into and out of the truck. I need to make a hitch so I can pull a full wheelbarrow down the road.

There are some cold compost/refuse bins to dig through at the comm garden, but they're not managed well. Digging through the pile there, I find lots of huge grubs, grape beetle or green june bug size.

I put them back up yesterday morning with a modified florida weave. There are a few reasons I didn't let them try to right themselves.
1.They dominoed down the row and are already tasseling, VT stage.
2. I need the rows cleared by the tomatoes!
3. They are planted tight, double seeded every 10" or single every 5", 18" in the doubles, 30" between. That is a far cry from the spacing in the videos I watched with 3+ft between rows and laid down across the rows.
4. Ground pollination of ears would be iffy in such a small plot, let alone rodent damage of formed ears on the ground. I often get two good cobs per stalk, but won't on the ground.
5. I have radishes red beets and parsnips between the double rows that I don't want to smother.

It seemed to work well, and really wasn't that hard for these rows once I got a system down. Still, ten rows took a couple hours. What can I say, it was nice out. Out of all the downed corn, I only lost a handful snapped at the base. We'll see how the weather plays out the next couple weeks. At some point I may well cut them loose again. Some okra was laid over too but I won't worry about that.

1. tall stake at either end
2. run one length of string, fairly taut. For my 5ft+ with tassels formed it was about 3 ft high.
3. tie off a second string at the upwind side, cut it at 10-12 ft
4. rotate up one or two stalks at a time and twist that 10 ft tag end for 3 wraps, trying to keep it snug. If I twisted 3 CW, then the time next 3 CCW, the string doesn't even twist up too badly. Add string as necessary with sheet bend.
5. Tie off at the end. I went back and added extra stakes in the middle where sagging occurred.

Hopefully it works out. My rain gauge there was pegged to the overflow at 5"+, and the block of corn and okra is below the outlet of the frog pond overflow as well.

Last pic: I harvested all the big, ready first and second cobs from the first block the day before the storm. There are still a lot of second cobs there. The mature corn didn't suffer so visibly compared to the tasseling blocks; more snapped off but less blown over.
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Last edited by JRinPA; August 6, 2020 at 08:11 AM.
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Old August 6, 2020   #14
kath
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It just hurts to see it, JR...hopefully all your hard work will pay off and they will produce for you. They sure are beautiful plants!
Our gauge read 4.8" when all was over, but there were quite a few spots like you that got quite a bit more. Looks like you have good drainage there.
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Old August 6, 2020   #15
JRinPA
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It did hurt, but I'm glad I went over that evening to get a read on it. Ignorance would not have been bliss, a few days later.

Does your gauge go higher than 5"? I talked to someone at the comm garden tonight, he lives about 2 miles down the road from me. Actually, he used to farm corn, but has never gardened until this year. Their gauge at home read 8"! I'm beginning to think we got more than I thought. The gauges I use only go up to 5, and with the wind and shaking, maybe anytime I see near 5 it has to be treated as a minimum. I certainly did not check it halfway through the storm.

I do have very good drainage at pretty much all my beds. I fork deep and make compost raised beds. I don't till at all anymore. The tilled plots there will get some standing water with a hard rain.
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