Flooding in Field Corn

Flooding stresses the plant by cutting off the supply of oxygen to the root system. Younger corn plants die if submerged in water for more than 5 days, especially in warmer weather conditions. If air temperatures are high, death may occur in only a few days, as plant processes are sped up and the need for a supply of oxygen to the roots is high. In cooler weather, submerged plants may live for up to a week. After the 8-leaf stage of corn, plants can tolerate being submerged in water for more than 8 days but may be more susceptible to disease (i.e., crazy top see photo) and may experience limited root development while under water. Yield loss due to flooding is most substantial for plants submerged immediately before and during tasselling and silking. Plants in the later vegetative growth stages (10-16 leaves) and/or during the grain filling period, suffer little yield loss to flooding.

Corn plant showing crazy top symptoms

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