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Extension > Minnesota Crop News > October 2001

Tuesday, October 16, 2001

Barren stalks in corn

Dean Reynolds, Assistant Professor and Extension Plant Pathologist

This summer corn growers in west central and southwestern Minnesota noticed a high percentage of barren stalks and abnormal ear development in some fields. Corn growers and local seedsmen reported 30-40 percent barren stalks in some fields. We surveyed multiple locations for barren stalks in fields along a 50-mile path from Bunde to Madison. The fields surveyed were variety demonstration trials where hybrids from different companies could be compared side-by-side under similar field and environmental conditions. The highest percent of barren stalks observed in the survey was 17 percent; not as high as observed in some commercial fields in the same area. The occurrence of barren stalks was not limited to any particular company's hybrids.
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