How to Determine Corn Vegetative Growth Stages

Erick Larson, State Extension Specialist - Grain Crops
By Erick Larson, State Extension Specialist - Grain Crops May 8, 2020 18:51

How to Determine Corn Vegetative Growth Stages

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V3 Growth Stage. Three leaves have fully emerged and have visible leaf collars. The first leaf is about 1.75 inches long and rounded on the tip. Each successive leaf is pointed and longer. V3 corn is usually about 5 to 7 inches tall.

Corn vegetative growth stages are designated by a V followed by a number representing fully developed, emerged leaves. Only those leaves which have a leaf collar visible are fully developed and count as an appropriate growth stage.  After corn plants reach the V5 or V6 growth stage, the first leaf normally dies and is stripped loose from the stem as it elongates and nodal root development increases. Harsh environmental conditions, such as sand-blasting or hot, dry wind can also kill and dislodge lower leaves. However, every leaf, regardless of whether they are dead or even no longer attached, must be counted to determine appropriate growth stage. The plant height of corn plants at a given growth stage may vary some depending upon planting date and growing conditions. Later-planting and favorable conditions will generally enhance height.

V5 Growth Stage. Five fully emerged leaves with leaf collars have emerged. The first leaf should be counted, regardless of whether it is dead or no longer attached. V5 corn is usually 10 to 14 inches tall.

 

V6 Growth Stage. The growing point finally moves above the soil surface and rapid growth begins. V6 corn is normally 14 to 20 inches tall.

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Erick Larson, State Extension Specialist - Grain Crops
By Erick Larson, State Extension Specialist - Grain Crops May 8, 2020 18:51
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