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University of Minnesota Extension

Wind and hail damage to pollination corn

Find guidance on how to manage damage from strong winds and hail when tassels are just starting to become visible or when corn has partially or completely been pollinated.

Damage can include loss of leaf area and stem bruising from hail stones, along with root lodging and stalk breakage from high winds.

hail damaged corn
Figure 1: Leaf loss, stalk breakage and root lodging in corn.
corn plant with stalk breakage and leaf loss
Figure 2: Stalk breakage and leaf loss in corn.

Damaged caused by wind and hail


What to do if your field gets damaged

Growers with damaged fields should contact their crop insurance agents as soon as possible. Some producers may even consider cutting the crop for silage. Corn silage from plants with few ears will likely be wetter and have higher nitrate levels than normal.

Because the highest nitrate concentrations occur in the lower stalk, corn that is harvested for silage should be cut a few inches higher than normal, such as a 10- to 12-inch height.

Jeff Coulter, Extension agronomist and Dean Malvick, Extension plant pathologist

Reviewed in 2021

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