Seeing Twisted Whorls and Yellowing Corn?

Nick Benson, Latham’s corn product specialist for the east, has been seeing Twisted Whorl Syndrome in fields.

Corn plant with signs of Twisted Whorl Syndrome

This syndrome is most evident in the late V5 to early V6 stages, when corn has five to six visible leaf collars and is about knee-high.  The lowermost leaves appear normal although some may exhibit some crinkled tissue near the base of the leaf blade, according to a newsletter article by Purdue University.  Beginning with the sixth or seventh leaf, the whorl is tightly wrapped and bent over at right angles to the ground.

While the cause of Twisted Whorl Syndrome is not fully understood, there are some correlations between weather.  This phenomenon is more often

Ribbing on lower leaf results from Twisted Whorl Syndrome.

present when there has been a sharp transition from periods of slow corn development (typically, cool cloudy weather) to periods of rapid corn development (typically, warm sunny weather plus ample moisture).

There is little or no effect on yield from periods of twisted growth. By the time the affected plants reach waist to chest-high, the only evidence that remains of the previous twisted whorls is the crinkled appearance of the most-affected leaves.

Click the video link below for a short “How To” from Nick Benson on identifying Twisted Whorl Syndrome in your fields.