Drought in Field Corn
The corn crop requires approximately 50 cm (20 in.) of water to produce high yields. This can be supplied over the growing season from a combination of stored water in the soil, rainfall or irrigation.
Lack of water causes the leaves to wilt and turn a greyish colour. Corn is most susceptible to dry conditions during the tasselling-to-silking stage and may experience yield loss if under stress at this time. During the later vegetative stages of growth (V8-V14), the plant may benefit from dry conditions, as it forces the more rapid downward growth of the roots. Drought conditions during silking can reduce pollination and a lack of silk emergence, while drought after silking may cause a reduction in grain fill.
Moisture deficiency or drought stress is most critical during tasseling-to-silking stages.
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