Corn Nutrient Deficiency From Sidewall Compaction

Jun 08, 2015
By Chad Lee, Extension Professor and Agronomist, University of Kentucky
This corn field had numerous plants that were stunted with striped leaves. This field was adequate to high in soil test values and had proper pH. When we dug up some plants, we found that the majority of stunted plants suffered from sidewall compaction. Images of the field, the leaf symptoms and the compacted roots follow.
Field where most of the corn appeared yellow with striped leaves.
Stunted corn in this field had apparent Zn deficiency. 
The producer applied zinc sulfate prior to planting.
All three plants are from the same field. 
Same hybrid and planting date. 
The smaller plants (left and middle) comprised most of the field in the first image. 
The smallest plant was V5, the middle plant was V6 and the largest plant was V7.
Smallest plant (V5). Roots from this angle look fine.
Smallest plant (V5). Roots from this angle expose the sidewall compaction. 
Most of these roots are confined to the seed furrow.
Largest plant (V7) from a different angle. 
Roots are growing in all directions.
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