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v121903© 2003, Purdue Univ.1 Corn Growth & Development Related to Herbicide Use Bob Nielsen Purdue University Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.kingcorn.orgwww.kingcorn.org
© 2003, Purdue Univ.2v121903 Post-Emergence Herbicides The application of many of these is restricted beyond certain corn plant heights or leaf stages. Where both height & leaf stage are listed on a label, the more restrictive of the two should be used for decision-making. The reasons for these label restrictions are both physical and physiological.
© 2003, Purdue Univ.3v121903 Crop & Weed Canopies Large corn canopies may intercept more of a broadcast herbicide application than will that of the intended “victims” (i.e., the weeds). Larger corn plants often also means larger weeds that are more difficult to kill. Physical Reasons for Label Restrictions:
© 2003, Purdue Univ.4v121903 Ever Larger Leaf Area With every subsequent stage of corn development, Leaf area per corn plant increases. With broadcast applications, herbicide interception per corn plant increases. Risk of herbicide injury increases. Physiological Reasons for Label Restrictions:
© 2003, Purdue Univ.5v121903 Sexual Development Beginning at about leaf stage V5, the uppermost (and eventually harvestable) ear is initiated, as is the tassel. These reproductive structures are often quite sensitive to herbicides absorbed by the plant. Physiological Reasons for Label Restrictions: Leaf stage V5 = Lowermost five leaves with visible leaf collars
© 2003, Purdue Univ.6v121903 Ear Shoots on V6 Plant Ear shoot at stalk node #4 Ear shoot at stalk node #6 Ear shoot at stalk node #5
© 2003, Purdue Univ.7v121903 Ear Shoots on a V9 Plant
© 2003, Purdue Univ.8v121903 Leaf Cuticle Changes Over Time From VE (emergence) to V4: “Leaves of corn…had crystalline deposits of wax on the surface of the cuticle.” “These crystals reduced [herbicide] spray retention and leaf wettability by trapping air under the spray droplets.” Rapid changes from V5 to V8: “… smooth wax film on the leaves ” “ Spray retention increased from about 30% at the V4 stage to about 80% at the V6 stage.” Source: http://www.weeds.iastate.edu/mgmt/2001/corncuticle.htm Physiological Reasons for Label Restrictions:
© 2003, Purdue Univ.9v121903 The Achilles' Heel of Labels Many labels do not clearly explain… How plant height should be measured or What is meant by a particular leaf stage.
© 2003, Purdue Univ.10v121903 Corn Plant Height Most agronomists agree that corn plant height should be that of free- standing plants. Measure height from the soil surface to the arch of the uppermost leaf that is at least 50% emerged from the whorl. Herbicide Labels? Usually not clear whether plant height refers to free-standing plants Herbicide Labels? Usually not clear whether plant height refers to free-standing plants
© 2003, Purdue Univ.11v121903 Corn Leaf Staging Corn leaf staging is technically quite simple. All it requires is the ability to identify the right parts of a leaf and to be able to count.
© 2003, Purdue Univ.12v121903 Identifying Leaf Parts A corn leaf consists of three distinct morphological components: The leaf blade The leaf collar The leaf sheath
© 2003, Purdue Univ.13v121903 Leaf Staging Methods Leaf collar method Count only leaves with visible leaf collar Begin with lowermost leaf that is shorter than the others and has a rounded tip. End with uppermost leaf with visible leaf collar. Rounded leaf #1 w/ collar Leaf #5 w/o collar Leaf #4 w/o collar Leaf #6 just visible Leaf #2 w/ collar Leaf #3 w/ collar Source of Digital Image: http://maize.agron.iastate.edu/corntitle.html
© 2003, Purdue Univ.14v121903 Leaf Staging Methods Droopy leaf method Begin with lowermost leaf that is shorter than the others and has a rounded tip. End with uppermost leaf that is at least 50% emerged from whorl. Leaf tip often points down, but not always Source of Digital Image: http://maize.agron.iastate.edu/corntitle.html Rounded leaf #1 w/ collar Leaf #5 w/o collar & not droopy Leaf #4 w/o collar but droopy Leaf #6 just visible Leaf #2 w/ collar Leaf #3 w/ collar Method Used by Hail Adjusters
© 2003, Purdue Univ.15v121903 Compare The Two Methods Leaf collar method: Stage late V3 Droopy leaf method: Stage between late V4 & early V5 Source of Digital Image: http://maize.agron.iastate.edu/corntitle.html
© 2003, Purdue Univ.16v121903 Herbicide Label Uncertainty Older labels ignored the first, rounded tip, leaf and ended with the uppermost leaf that was at least 50% exposed from whorl. A bastardized “droopy leaf” method that results in roughly the same numerical leaf stage as the leaf collar method. Source of Digital Image: http://maize.agron.iastate.edu/corntitle.html #1 #2 #3 Ignore Almost #4
© 2003, Purdue Univ.17v121903 Herbicide Label Uncertainty Older labels ignored the first, rounded tip, leaf and ended with the uppermost leaf that was 50% exposed from whorl. A bastardized “droopy leaf” method that results in the same numerical leaf stage as the leaf collar method. Newer labels purport to define leaf stages according to the leaf collar method. Is some question about whether the first, rounded tip, leaf is counted, however. Bottom Line: Check with your chemical technical representative to verify which definition is appropriate for the herbicide you intend to use. Bottom Line: Check with your chemical technical representative to verify which definition is appropriate for the herbicide you intend to use.
© 2003, Purdue Univ.18v121903 Pop Quiz! Using the leaf collar method, what is the leaf stage of this plant? #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 ANSWER: Late stage V6 to early V7 Source of Digital Image: http://maize.agron.iastate.edu/corntitle.html
© 2003, Purdue Univ.19v121903 When Lower Leaves Go Kaput Determining growth stages on older plants is often more difficult because lower leaves naturally wither away as the plant develops. But the missing leaves must still be accounted for when staging the plant.
© 2003, Purdue Univ.20v121903 Stalk Elongation to the Rescue Stalk elongation is increasingly evident after growth stage V4. From VE to V4, stalk elongation is very insignificant. During this time, all the above- ground plant tissue consists of leaves and rolled-up leaves.
© 2003, Purdue Univ.21v121903 Recognizing Stalk Nodes After growth stage V4, the pace of stalk elongation picks up. Individual stalk nodes can easily be detected after splitting a stalk down the middle.
© 2003, Purdue Univ.22v121903 Identifying Individual Nodes Stalk nodes serve as the point of origin for roots, leaves, tillers, and ears. Careful stalk splitting will verify that Node #5 is usually the first individually recognizable stalk node. Key Trivia for Staging Corn: Stalk node #5 is the point of attachment for Leaf #5. Key Trivia for Staging Corn: Stalk node #5 is the point of attachment for Leaf #5.
© 2003, Purdue Univ.23v121903 Help in Identifying #5 Node The internode length between Node #4 and Node #5 is usually less than ½ inch, whereas that between Node #5 and Node #6 is 1 inch or longer. ½ inch or less Node #5 1 inch or greater Node #6 Node #5 Nodes #1 - #4
© 2003, Purdue Univ.24v121903 Once #5 Node is Identified… Identify which leaf sheath connects to that node, then count upward to uppermost leaf with visible leaf collar to determine leaf stage of plant. Leaf sheath attachment to stalk node
© 2003, Purdue Univ.25v121903 Stress, Corn, & Herbicides Effects of severe stress can include… Shorter than expected plants for growth stage due to stunted stalk elongation. Altered plant metabolism that increases sensitivity to herbicides or decreases the plants’ ability to detoxify herbicides. Excellent growing conditions may increase risk of injury by increasing rate of herbicide uptake. Final Thoughts:
© 2003, Purdue Univ.26v121903 Symptomology & Diagnostics Sometimes, the morphological symptomology of herbicide injury points to the time of application. By which plant parts are affected By recovery, or lack thereof, subsequent to damage Final Thoughts:
© 2003, Purdue Univ.27v121903 Plants can confirm… Plant injury by Hornet™ + 2,4-D herbicides Lower 9 to 10 leaves appeared normal in color and size Remainder of leaves, stalk, and tassel severely stunted and malformed Plant appearance + GDD data supported V9 or V10 as timing of application. Beyond V5 or V6 label limits
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