"Tipping Back" is a Sign of Heat Stress

Farmers across the state are starting to see “tipping back,” where kernels aren’t filling all the way to the end of an ear of corn.  In this video report, Latham’s Corn Product Specialist explains why high temperatures for prolonged periods during key corn developmental stages have attributed to the amount of tipping back that’s evident this season.

Stress can result in tipping back, agrees Iowa State University (ISU) Extension Corn Agronomist Roger Elmore.  Kernels may not have pollinated in the first place or pollinated kernels may have been aborted around milk stage or blister stage.  For more information on what causes tipping back, click here to read a related Wallaces Farmer article.  To read how tipping back affected yields in 2010, click here.

Night-time temperatures after silking greatly impact yield.  Cool night-time temperatures after silking in 2009 resulted in the highest average statewide corn yield ever recorded in Iowa.  On the contrary, warm night-time temperatures contributed to lost yield in 2010.