Piedmont Corn Under Water

Earlier this week, areas of North Carolina, especially the Piedmont received up to six inches of rain in two days. While many producers across the state took the gamble with the warm March and put in corn early, many now, are looking at corn under water. NC State Corn Specialist Dr. Ron Heiniger:

“Yes, that could be true. We got used to dry weather, and now all of a sudden we’ve got too much water, that’s the bane of farming, go from feast to famine. But, it is a concern, here, particularly with young corn plants, when you’ve got young corn plants with the roots underwater, or worse yet when you’ve got corn plants under water for some time, you can see significant yield impacts because it does in fact affect that corn growth, and in fact, it will kill the plant if we have it long enough. As I was mentioning to a farmer earlier today, about 12 years of saturated or flooding conditions is just about all a small corn plant can tolerate. So, if you’ve had enough flooding where you’ve had that corn plant sitting in water, or worse yet under water for that period of time, that’s a real concern for you.

After about 24 hours of that you can start to see…actually start to see plants starting to die, certainly they would be turning yellow and very highly stressed, at that point. So, yes, this rainfall, particularly in the Piedmont, where a lot of this water accumulates here in the bottoms, and that corn crop is sitting there, this is areal concern to us. They say that dry weather will hurt you, wet weather will kill you…wet weather will certainly kill corn plants in this scenario. So, I’m concerned about that, I’m hoping that we can see some sunnier days here and get some of this water to drain off and get away from these plants at this point.”

“Are you seeing the or hearing about the bulk of the water damage in the Yadkin Valley?”

“Yes, that’s right. That’s where the bulk of it is, that’s where they’re at the most risk, actually. Because, they do get flooding when we get to these kind of periods here. Those growers…everything they can do to get drainage into that corn field, even in dry years, you can’t forget about the fact, if you get a change like we’ve had here, you’ve got to get that water off that corn.”

“Okay, Ron, anything you’d like to add?”

“Well, other than this rain we are looking at a good corn crop here, we’re off to a great start, growers who got that corn in early, did the right thing. That early corn here, quite frankly, is down to two or three really good rains, but then we’ve about made a crop there. So, for those growers that got corn in early, avoided that frost, and hopefully get that water off of there, they’re looking pretty sweet right now.”

While rain leaves the forecast today, daytime highs are forecast to continue to be below average for the next several days. For more weather, including forecast right on your farm, visit our homepage.  

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