Short Corn, Poor Yield - Knowledgebase Question

Jacksonville, FL
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Question by dominion
June 12, 1998
I planted Early Sunglow, Silver Queen and Golden Cross Bantam at the end of March. 90% of the corn is less than two feet tall, and hardly any of the corn have ears. I prepared my soil as directed, no pests are visible, and I am fertilizing with a 20-20-20 liquid spray every 2 - 3 weeks. My garden is very small; 230 sq.ft. Half of that is a block of corn, 8 rows deep, 6 plants/row. The beans, lettuce, cucumbers, melons, broccoli, cauliflower and tomatoes are doing nicely.

Answer from NGA
June 12, 1998
One thing you might check is for insect damage to the roots or base of the stalk. Another consideration would be to have a complete soil analysis done to see if a nutrient problem might be involved. Your county Extension office can assist you with having your soil tested. The fact that your other veggies are doing great makes it unlikely that the soil the corn is growing in has a significant nutrient problem.

Sometimes I have had problems with cornstalks failing to reach a good size before tasseling. I've blamed it on choice of varieties and the weather conditions that year, as each year poses its own challenges. The fact that all three varieties are stunting is really unusual. I might expect it for Early Sunglow in your area, but not for Silver Queen.

If they haven't started to tassel yet give them some more time before pronouncing this year a loss, you may still get a good harvest, especially on the late variety Silver Queen.

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