Determining Hail Injury

Hail damage on Bohman farm, Franklin County Iowa

Heat units were finally accumulating and the 2011 crop was just catching up when Mother Nature issued yet another challenge to Midwest farmers: strong winds, pounding rains and hail.  The good news is experts say that late planting dates and could work to our advantage this season.

“The growing point in the corn plant is still underground for corn plants at the V6 stage of growth (sixth leaf stage) and younger,” says Roger Elmore, Iowa State University Extension agronomist, in a recent Wallaces Farmer article.  Plus, adequate moisture combined with the short-term weather forecast for warm and sunny weather should encourage rapid and healthy regrowth.

Reports from our Seed-2-Soil intern, Tanner Bohman, indicate his family’s farm located

Bohman soybean field in Franklin County, Iowa: Post-Hail

in Franklin County, Iowa was hit hard by hail this past week.  He commented that the majority of corn plants had growing points above the soil surface and stand counts were reduced by 5,000 to 8,000 plants per acre.

More information on hail damage and other corn management issues is available from the ISU Extension Corn Production Website. Photos of damaged corn can be found in the “Image Gallery” under “Crop Diagnostics.”

Additional online resources to determine growth stages, estimate the yield loss and remedial actions are listed below: