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Seed depth factor in freeze effect on corn

Field after field of young corn purple in color and flat on the ground was not a pretty sight for many Mid-South corn producers after the emerged crop was exposed to freezing temperatures in early April.

In many cases, corn can recover from the injury, depending on factors such as soil type, planting depth and temperature.

Erick Larson, Mississippi Extension corn specialist, has seen a significant amount of freeze injury in the state's corn crop, but “the crop should be able to recover. Corn's growing point is underground until it gets about 12 inches tall. So it has the potential to fully recover given good growing conditions.

“Corn that is most vulnerable to the freeze damage is any that exceeded a foot in height and had its growing point aboveground. Most of this corn was down in the central Delta south of Greenville, and it didn't sustain near as much freeze damage. Most of the damage was limited to leaf tip burn.”

Corn damage could be more dire for some producers in Arkansas, according to Stacey Bruff, a technical services representative for Delta and Pine Land Co. After touring through lower Clay and Greene counties, several corn fields looked to have significant stand loss. “There's every possibility that some of these fields will have to be replanted.”

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