Factors Affecting Corn Yield
- The quality of seed – not only percent germination.
- Uneven emergence demonstrates differences in seed and/or seedling vigor.
- Although DNA of the same variety is similar, the expression of DNA in plants can differ.
- The “starter” effect on young plants is more responsive to nitrogen than it is to phosphate.
- Young plants (roots) are more subject to insects and disease than older roots.
- The bottom of young plants will temporarily have a purple color.
- The growing point of the plant reaches the soil surface when it reaches the V4 to V5 stage.
- When plants reach V6, they begin to grow more rapidly. This is due to the shading of the bottom parts of the plants.
- Plants accelerate in growing from V7 to Vt. As shading of the bottom of the plants increases, growth increases. A single plant, standing by itself, does not grow as fast or grow as tall as plants in a dense population.
- Each plant node has an ear primordia. As the bottom nodes become shaded, the ear primordium aborts.
- When the plant approaches the tasseling stage, roots appear from nodes that are located above ground (brace roots).
- The last two leaves that appear before the tassel are much smaller than the lower leaves.
- The appearance of brace roots and small leaves are indicating a tremendous shift in the physiology of the plants’ growth.
- When tassels appear, they can be longer or shorter (more vigorous or less vigorous).
- Ear emergence (silks) can appear before tasseling or after tassels appear.
- The primary ear will appear on the node that has adequate sunlight for normal cell division. As plant population increases, the ears will tend to set on higher nodes.
- A corn plant, standing alone, can have ears set on 4, 5, 6, or 7 different nodes.
- After the ear appears, it has 12-to-14 days to make maximum length.
- The first silks to appear will be from the basal kernel primordia.
- The last silks to appear will be from the distal end (ear tip) of the cob.
- It appears that the early pollen on the early silks is stronger than the later pollen on the later silk. Therefore, the later seed primordia have poorer fertilization, more seed abortion, and smaller seed sizing.
- Pollination can be significantly affected by abioitic conditions of soil moisture and temperature.
- If a “million dollar” rain is received at tasseling (VT), ear growth and pollination strength are increased.
- After pollination is completed, the stalks turn brown.
- If plant silks turn brown during a shorter period of time, yields will tend to be higher.
- The movement of sugar from a plant to the ear will then determine the ear size and kernel size. This will depend upon three factors.
- For maximum yields all essential plant food nutrients are needed. The soil may contain adequate amounts of many nutrients.
- For most nutrients, except nitrogen, when the soil levels are high, the addition of more will not normally result in yield increases.
- Most nutrients are absorbed or adsorbed by new meristematic root cell tissue. Older root tissue does not do so. They are merely conductive tissue (transport pipes).
- Four out of the five plant growth regulators (hormones) are produced in new meristematic root cell tissue --- not old root tissue.
- Roots are the “brains” of plants. The new cell growth is necessary to maintain “brain” power.
- As plants approach the reproductive stage (VT), new root growth slows down. This disrupts the hormonal balance. In order to compensate, the plants ‘put out’ nodal roots, (brace roots) at higher nodes above ground.
- The small leaves at the top of the plant will indicate the hormone change.
- The “million dollar” rain will re-start root growth that has drastically declined.
- The top growth of any plant is only a reflection of root growth and health.
- The fifth plant growth regulator hormone originates in the new developing cells in the top plant parts. The amount and movement of this hormone (Auxin), will affect the amount and rates that originate in the roots.
- Auxin is affected tremendously by biotic and abiotic stress.
- Unless Auxin is controlled, maximum yields will not be achieved.
- Maintaining root growth over a longer period of time will delay “early dying” and increase the seed filling period.
When a seed is produced by a plant under stress, the seed will not have the proper genetic expression to maximize yields. The genetic attributes of the seed are impacted if the plant is under severe stress or not under severe stress when the seed is being formed. While seed companies do not readily provide information, avoid seed that was cultured or harvested in an area of extreme stress during the year of seed development.
When the corn has two true leaves, mark off 20 stalks.
1. Put a green flag on every stalk that is the normal size.
2. Place a red flag on plants smaller in size.
3. Count the number of plants with green flags and the number of plants with red flags. This will give you the percentage of young plants with good seedling vigor.
At the end of the season, harvest the ears from the plants with the green flags and compare them against the ears with the red flags. The average weight of the ear from the green flag plant will be heavier than the average ear from the red flag plant.
If you want to experiment with different products that are either seed coated, placed in-furrow at the time of planting or added to the liquid starter fertilizer, you can compare the number of green flag plants with the number of red flag plants on your treated corn seedlings versus the untreated corn seedlings. A good treatment will give you a higher percentage of green flags compared to red flag plants.
Stoller’s suggestion is to either use Bio-Forge® as a seed treatment or use it as an in-furrow placement when planting corn. You can then determine the percentage of green flags out of the 20 plants that are measured in various places in the field.
We refer to this as the genetic expression of the DNA in plant cells. Just as different children will have different colored eyes from the same parents or different level of intelligence from the same parents, the DNA in particular varieties of plants could have a different genetic expression than the neighboring plants in the field. It all depends upon the ability of the DNA located in the nucleus of every cell being able to express the genetics that is in that DNA.
The people in plant science call this, the expression of messenger RNA that is derived from the DNA in plant cell nucleus. The flexible corn varieties have more flexibility in expression of the messenger RNA then the fixed varieties. The change of expression of the DNA in a plant often occurs when a plant is subjected to various plant stresses such as temperature variance, moisture variance, or shading effect from neighboring plants.
Stoller has found the best way to maximize the genetic expression of a plant is through an in-furrow application of Bio-Forge® or X-Tra Power™. It is easier to increase the genetic expression of a plant if the product is administered when the plant is a seedling. Just as it is difficult to change the habits of a person as they get older, it is more difficult to change the genetic expression of the plant as it gets older.
There have been a number of research trials that have taken place at different universities showing that when nitrogen is placed in-furrow or in a band two inches to the side and two inches below the corn seedling the “starter” effects is greater that the “starter” effects experienced with the addition of phosphate. This suggests that the least costly starter fertilizer would be nitrogen solutions alone.
If the soil tests medium to low in phosphate, the addition of phosphate to starter or in-furrow fertilizer will probably add value. However, for the pure “starter” effect, nitrogen has more impact than phosphate.
The attack of insects, disease, nematodes or even slugs will depend upon the type of material the plant roots are leaking. If the plant insects or diseases cannot live, multiply and thrive on these exudates, they will not reproduce and infect the root system of the corn plant.
On the other hand, if the root exudates contain a substance allowing insects or disease to thrive, they will multiply on the roots rhizosphere and eventually enter the young plant.
When plants are older, the plants exudates are not as attractive to the insects, disease, nematodes or slugs.
Many experts now postulate that the root excretions will make the plant more defensive against these insects and disease if the exudates contain certain hormones. In other words, the hormones being leaked out of the roots will serve as defense against young plant predators. As a plant grows, the supply of these types of hormones is greater than the supply can be when the plant is a seedling. Therefore, the plants are more resistant to insects and disease as the plants become older.
Because seed treatments have a very short life when it comes to defending against insects and diseases, Stoller suggests an in-furrow application of 1.0 quart per acre of X-Tra Power™ during the period of planting. Over the last four years, the users of this product have grown plants that are a lot more resistant to both insects and diseases.
The increase of the plant’s DNA that synthesizes various hormones has a much longer life in the plant than just a chemical treatment.
Many people attribute the purple coloring at the bottom of the plant when the plant is a seedling to a phosphate deficiency. While a phosphate deficiency will cause the bottom of the plant to have a purple color, it is not the only cause.
Actually, the purple color at the bottom of a young plant is due to an accumulation of sugar moving from the leaves down to the crown of the baby plant. If the roots are not growing fast enough to use the sugar, it accumulates at the bottom of the plant and causes the purple color. Therefore, anything causing root growth to be slow will cause a purple color at the bottom part of the young corn plant.
There are many things that could cause this purple color. It could be a plant variety with slower growing roots or cold soil temperatures. The color deficiency could be flooded soil conditions or from herbicide damage.
It is very important the roots of a small plant grow vigorously so all the sugars in the plant can be utilized to make hearty root growth early in the season. The best product to accomplish this would be the use of Bio-Forge® as either a seed treatment, an in-furrow placement or as a mixture with liquid starter fertilizer.
If one wants to change the genetic expression of a corn plant, it is important the application to make this change is applied by the V4 to V5 stage of growth. Once the growing point is above the soil surface, it is very difficult to effect change on the way a corn plant will grow for the rest of its life.
Therefore, if a foliar application is going to be made to a corn plant in order to increase the genetic expression of the plant, it should be done before the V5 stage of growth.
Stoller has several products having significantly changed the genetic expression of corn plants when applied at the V4 to V5 stage of growth.
The product most consistent in university tests is a product called Sugar Mover Plus. It is applied to a plant’s foliage at the rate of 3.0 pints per acre.
Another consistent product that has increased yields is called Bio-Forge® is applied at the rate of 1.0 pint per acre.
If glyphosate is going to be applied to the field in the same application, Stoller recommends is X-Tra Power™. This product is primarily used to decrease any yield drag and increase yields wherever glyphosate is applied to the corn crop. In addition, it supplies zinc which glyphosate can rehabilitate for a period of days after application. When using X-Tra Power in this glyphosate spray, you eliminate the need to return in 7-10 days later and spray zinc.
8. When plants reach V6 they begin to grow more rapidly. This is due to the shading of the bottom parts of the plant.
The shading of plants has really not been investigated as a significant problem in growing corn. What has been investigated is the density of plant population. Of course, the greater the density of the plant population, the more profound and earlier the shading takes place on our corn plants.
When the bottom parts of the plant are shaded it causes the auxin hormone to move more rapidly from the new growing leaf meristematic tissue down toward the shade. This movement of the auxin downward stimulates the growth of the corn plant. This will greatly affect the height and the stalk diameter of the corn plant. Stoller is presently investigating the shading effect that develops on corn plants.
9. Plants accelerate in growing from V7 to VT. As the shading at the bottom of the plant increases, growth increases. A single plant standing by itself does not grow as fast or grow as tall as plants in a dense population.
Usually, when plants have accelerated growth, the plants increase in height. This accelerated growth is caused by the auxin movement from the new leaf apical meristem tissue downward to the shade. The more the bottom of the plant is shaded, the more rapid movement of the auxin down to the shade exists.
This is why each leaf appears in a shorter number of days as the plant ages and grows. This is not good for a high yielding plant. Thinner plant populations have bigger ears because of this. There is less shading of the bottom parts of the plant. However, in order to maintain maximum production, it is necessary to maintain a densely populated corn field.
Stoller understands the shading effect occurring in a corn field and how to reduce the shading effect in a densely populated field of corn.
The denser a field is planted, the more quickly the bottom leaf turns yellow and dies. This is common as the corn plants are in the later stages of vegetative growth and particularly in the stages of reproductive growth. The reduction of the shading effect when the plant is growing will allow the bottom plant leaves to maintain their life and continue to produce over a longer period of the plant’s life.
10. Each plant node has an ear primordial. As the bottom nodes become shaded, the ear primordium aborts.
When the corn plant is growing, you can cut it open down the middle and find a small ear growing at each node. As the shading effect limits hormonal production at the bottom node, this young ear primordia aborts.
This is due to lack of hormonal production on the nodes on the bottom part of the plant, due to a hormonal deficiency that cannot be synthesized in a plant once shading occurs.
What can we do if we overcome the shading effect on corn plants? Look at a corn plant that is sitting out by itself. It will be shorter than the plants on the inside of the field. The stalk will have a much greater diameter. The roots will be massive. The plant will have more than one ear. Many times it will have 3 or 4 ears or more. We hope to be able to re-create this plant when it is planted in the field with a high plant density. As of now, Stoller’s testing procedures are not yet complete. Additional data must be gathered before this technology is released for use by corn growers. This could, however, be one of the truly great breakthroughs in corn production technology.
11. When a plant approaches the tasseling stage, roots appear from nodes that are located above ground (brace roots).
When corn roots grow, they do not last a long number of days. They then tend to decrease in growth. The plant demands more root activity (cytokinin synthesis) than the plant can provide. In order to provide the plant with adequate amount of cytokinin, the plant must produce more roots with more root tips.
1. It is in the root tips where most of the hormones are made for the plant’s growth regulation.
2. It is in the root tips where most of the nutrients are picked up by the plant.
3. Therefore, the more root tips a plant has growing, the more nutrients it will pick up and put into the plant.
4. The more root tips growing the better the plant will stay in hormonal balance throughout its life.
When the number of root tips the plant has is not sufficient to give the plant maximum nutrient uptake and maximum hormone balance, the plant must put out additional roots. This normally happens as the plant approaches the tasseling stage because at that point the plant does not produce enough auxin to enable the roots to have active cell division at the new meristematic tissue of the roots.
Therefore, the development of the roots have to move upward in the plant where there is still enough auxin movement to generate new root growth. The movement of auxin in a corn plant proceeding the period of tasseling will generate more roots. More important though, we must realize that any hormone shortage during tasseling must be due to insufficient new root growth at the bottom of the plant. We know this is a common occurrence.
This is a clear indication the plant becomes insufficient in the hormones causing cell division and cell differentiation. This is why the last leaves are smaller than the leaves below them. The maximum and proper hormone balance of the plant normally occurs in the plant when the leaf size is the largest. This is true for the hormone balance during the vegetative stage of growth. Our challenge is to keep the leaf growth sizing for the greatest possible time during the growth period of the corn plant.
However, it is extremely crucial for us to apply something to the corn plant during the period of pre- tassel in order to have the proper hormone balance in the tassel before it is ready to pollinate the corn silks. A lot of research has been done on various plants to determine the hormone which is most likely to cause the problem of weak pollination. In order to correct this hormone problem, Stoller recommends the application of 2.0 pints of Calcium 5S immediately preceding the tassel stage of growth.
13. The appearance of brace roots and small leaves are indicating a tremendous shift in the physiology of the plant’s growth.
These are manifestations of a tremendous shift in the hormones of a plant. It is during this stage of growth, that the plant is setting itself up for the best pollination it could obtain or for poor pollination, which is less than the plant is capable of doing. During this period of growth, the plant must be protected against stress. If the plant can be protected against stress, the pollination of the ear will be stronger and the quality of the kernels will be bigger with less abortion.
Stoller recommends the application of Bio-Forge® at 1.0 pint per acre at the V7 stage of growth. This will maintain larger leaf size. It will increase silage tonnage. It will also increase the value of silage made in order to feed dairy cattle or other ruminant animals.
When tassels are very big and prominent, the ear will normally be smaller. The big prominent tassel indicates the plant is sending sugars to the top of the plant. These are all sugars being taken away from the transfer sugars to the ear and kernels. Normally, a higher yielding corn plant will be one where the tassel sits down lower into the plant. The tassel will be strong and have a large number of anthers. It will not, however, be tall and vigorously demonstrating itself above corn plants.
The silking and pollination of a corn plant is synchronized by the mother plant. It is always desirable to have the ear silks appear before the tassel appears. The first pollen appears to be the stronger pollen. This will pollinate the silks connected to the seed primordial at the basil end of the ear. These kernels are always stronger.
The later pollen pollinates the silks originating from the primordia of the kernels out closer toward the distal end or the tip of the ear. The result is smaller kernels with more kernel abortion.
The goal is to keep the male stigma of the tassel pollen at a high level of fertility so that over the time of pollination of the last silks are as strong a pollen as the first silks appearing from the corn ears.
16. The primary ear will appear on the node that has adequate sunlight for normal cell division. As plant population increases, the ears will tend to set on higher nodes.
This due to the shading effect previously discussed in #8. The greater the density of the plant population the earlier the shading takes place. When the auxin hormone moves to the lower part of the plant from the new tissue it causes the height and stalk diameter to change dramatically. To overcome the shading effect, the plant will have more ears sitting at a lower position on the corn stalk.
This is still in the experimental stage by Stoller Enterprises, Inc.
There is a dramatic difference when comparing a corn plant standing out by itself to a corn plant on the inside of a densely planted field.
Is it possible for us to obtain this a “stand alone” type plant in a densely populated field? We believes so. Our research experts are working now to determine how much we can affect the corn plant in a more dense population.
This indicates a large amount of the sugar from the leaves that must be moved into the corn stalk in the proximity of the ear node-- so plenty of sugar is available to grow the maximum size ear.
In order to achieve the maximum size yield the plant must have the maximum size ear in relationship to plant population. It is extremely important for the ear to have a strong sink so it will demand the sugar to be transferred into the ear.
Stoller is recommends the use of Bio-Forge® at 1.0 pint per acre when the corn silk turns brown. This will give the corn ear a stronger sink for the movement of sugar to move into the ear. Bio-Forge is compatible with either Headline or Quilt. It can be applied in the same application.
Normally the pollen is the strongest when the first silks appear. Pollination and silking of a corn plant is synchronized by the mother plant. It is always important to have the ear silks appear before the tassel appears. The first pollen appears to be the stronger pollen. This pollen will pollinate the silks connected to the seed primordial at the basil end of the ear. When the corn plant is growing, you can cut it open down the middle and find a small ear growing at each node. As the shading effect limits hormonal production at the bottom node, this young ear primordia aborts.
This is normally when the pollen is the weakest because the ear tip has the last silks to appear.
21. It appears that early pollen on early silks is stronger than later pollen on later silks. Therefore, later seed primordia have poorer fertilization, more seed abortion, and smaller seed sizing.
The male pollen is lacking a hormone which preserves the pollen strength. We cannot over emphasize the necessity of applying 2.0 pints per acre of Calcium 5X during the period of early tassel emergence. This is particularly important if the plant is under severe stress due to either high temperature or drought.
22. Pollination can be significantly affected by abioitic conditions of soil moisture and temperature.
This phenomenon has been measured many times. Pollination can be affected by abiotic conditions on corn and wheat. It is also true for the flowering and fertility of the flowers of soybeans.
Stoller has done a lot of work concerning the pollination on many crops. The first research was done on vegetable and fruit trees. We now know it is also an important problem on our agronomic crops, such as corn, soybeans, wheat, rice and cotton.
This hormonal problem can be solved. It is not a disease problem. Therefore, the most profitable product to apply is not a fungicide. In fact, the most profitable product to apply at the beginning of tasseling is one affecting the hormone balance in the pollen and make it more viable in the fertilization of the corn ears silk.
23. If a “million dollar” rain is received at tasseling (VT), ear growth and pollination strength are increased.
The strength of pollen is determined by the growth of roots. Roots will slowdown in growth as the corn plant reaches the pollination stage.
If we have a “million dollar” rain around tasseling, it starts roots once again growing vigorously.
This vigorous root growth produces enough hormones to cause the pollen to be strong. It will also produce enough of the hormone causing the ear silk to be more receptive to pollen.
However, it is important to realize in the absence of a “million dollar” rain, the only thing we can do is apply Calcium 5X close to pollen emergence.
This is a sign that pollination has been completed. After this period, the only thing increasing plant yield is the rapid expansion of kernels growing on the cob.
This is again a hormonal effect.
Stoller’s recommendation is to use 1.0 pint of Bio-Forge® when the silks begin to turn brown.
Again, this could be applied with either Headline or Quilt if the plant has disease. If the plant does not have disease, Headline or Quilt is not necessary.
This is no different than watching the flowering of a tree. If the flowers occur over a shorter period of time, the tree will always have stronger flowers and fruit and have higher yields than if the tree flowers over a longer number of days. A strong corn plant will silk and pollinate over a shorter period of time. A weaker corn plant will take a longer period of time to silk and pollinate.
26. The movement of sugar from a plant to the ear will then determine the ear size and kernel size. This will depend upon three factors.
A. The amount of sugar for transport.
B. The ‘sink’ strength of the ear and kernel to “pull-in” the sugars.
C. The number of days for filling (early or late plant senescence).
All three of the above factors are hormonally related.
Stoller’s current recommendation is the application of 2.0 pints of Calcium 5X right before the tassel appears with an additional application of Bio-Forge® at the early brown silk stage. These recommendations may be modified over a period of time as Stoller’s research and development continues.
If the price of the corn crop will only sustain one late season application, it is Stoller’s recommendation that late season application should be Calcium 5X. (It does no good to try and grow a bigger ear if the strength of the pollination is weak.)
27. For maximum yields all essential plant food nutrients are needed. The soil may contain adequate amounts of many nutrients.
In order to determine the adequacy of nutrients for growing a corn crop, we soil test. But, a soil test is not always very precise. The value of a soil test is to indicate the various nutrients that are in excess or deficient.
While the plant is growing we take tissue tests. This can be misleading if a plant doesn not have strong, actively growing multiple roots, it cannot pick up the nutrients already in the soil.
Therefore the deficiency found in plant tissue may be caused by inadequate root growth --- not a deficiency of the nutrients in the soil.
Under such conditions a foliar application can be cosmetic and therapeutic as to how the plant functions. It cannot, however, replace vigorous root growth.
It is Stoller’s position that any time nutrient deficiencies appear in a crop it is due to inadequate root growth. Research has shown there is one hormone that controls vigorous lateral root growth in any plant. There are also two nutrients maintaining the conversion of this hormone in a corn plant and retain a longer half life of this hormone in a corn plant.
Stoller recommends a side dressed application of PowerPlus™. PowerPlus is intended to increase the activity of root growth. The rate is ½ gallon to 1.0 gallon per acre, which will be applied when a corn plant has approximately 4 leaves. This will greatly increase the efficiency of the fertilizer already applied to the soil.
The yield increase occurring from PowerPlus will be directly dependent upon the availability roots have to nutrients contained in the soil. The yield increase will be determined by the stress on the plant during the period of tasseling. (It does no good to put on extra roots if there is severe stress on the plant so it does not have an adequate balance in the plant for maximum pollination and ear growth.)
Where high phosphate levels in the soil appear, it is always good to apply zinc in-furrow or in the starter fertilizer. If zinc cannot be added to the starter fertilizer or in-furrow, it can be applied as a foliar application or as a side dressed application along with nitrogen.
28. For most nutrients, except nitrogen, when the soil levels are high, the addition of more will not normally result in yield increases.
The above is a conclusion that was formed by Dr. Bray at the University of Illinois. If plants have adequate root growth and the soil level of the nutrients are high in the soil test values, apply extra amounts of those nutrients will not enhance crop performance. The only nutrient that is an exception is nitrogen.
Nitrogen is the only nutrient causing the roots to synthesize an abundant amount of cytokinin.
1. Cytokinin is created in the roots and travels upward in the plant.
2. Cytokinin is a hormone absolutely necessary for cell division and differentiation.
3. The more nitrogen applied to the plant, the more Cytokinin the plant will produce.
It is important not to have an over abundance of nitrogen applied to the roots as nitrates will accumulate in the upper plant tissue. The nitrates accumulating in the upper plant tissue cannot synthesize Cytokinin and can be toxic to plant growth and to livestock if harvested for silage.
Both the application of Bio-Forge® at 1.0 pint per acre and the application of Calcium 5X at 2.0 pints per acre will tend to lower the nitrate content of the plant tissue, if there is an over application of nitrogen or if there is an extreme drought which allows the nitrates to accumulate in the upper part of the plant.
29. Most nutrients are absorbed or adsorbed by new meristematic root cell tissue. Older root tissue does not do so. They are merely conductive tissue (transport pipes).
The supply of nutrients to any corn plant is directly dependent upon the number of roots and the rate of root growth. It does no good to fertilize at high levels if the plant’s root growth is not adequate.
For adequate root growth Stoller recommends the application of either Bio-Forge® at 1.0 pint per acre or PowerPlus™ at the rate of 2.0 pints per acre applied in-furrow at the time of planting. The application of Bio-Forge as a seed treatment will also help maintain new growth. This is the least costly method of using Bio-Forge.
30. Four out of the five plant growth regulators (hormones) are produced in new meristematic root cell tissue --- not old root tissue.
There is no substitute for continuous root hair growth. It normally is reduced when plants go into their reproductive stage of growth. If the plant can maintain adequate root growth during the reproductive period, the plants will not early die. The plants will have a longer period to fill the grains.
Plants demand root activity because it is in the root tips where most of the hormones are made for the plant’s growth regulation. The more root tips growing the better the plant will stay hormonally balanced through its entire life. Therefore, roots control the growth of plants. Two of the three hormones required to grow are located in the root. Without roots you will not have a successful crop.
Stoller recommends a side dressed application of PowerPlus™. PowerPlus is intended to increase the activity of root growth. The rate is ½ gallon to 1.0 gallon per acre, which will be applied when a corn plant has approximately 4 leaves. This greatly increases the efficiency of the fertilizer already applied to the soil.
32. As plants approach the reproductive stage (VT), new root growth slows down. This disrupts the hormonal balance. In order to compensate, the plants ‘put out’ nodal roots, (brace roots) at higher nodes above ground.
The plant demands more root activity (cytokinin synthesis) than the plant can provide. In order to provide the plant with adequate amount of cytokinin, the plant must produce more roots with more root tips. When the number of root tips the plant has is not sufficient to give the plant maximum nutrient uptake and maximum hormone balance, the plant must put out additional roots. This normally happens during the period as the plant approaches the tasseling stage because the plant does not produce enough auxin to enable the roots to complete active cell division in the new meristematic tissue of the roots. Therefore, the development of the roots moves upward in the plant where there is enough Auxin movement to generate new root growth.
Any hormone shortage during tasseling is due to insufficient new root growth at the bottom of the plant.
The top of the plant will mirror what is happening at the bottom of the plant. If there is an insignificant amount of roots to carry hormones and growth regulators up the plant then the leaves at the top of the plant will be smaller. As the amount of hormones change and only carried so far up the plant the top leaves will be smaller.
After new root growth is started again, it will continue for the rest of the life of the plant. The plant will remain green longer and have a longer period of kernel fill.
The top growth of any plant is merely a reflection of the growth of the roots beneath the plant. It is always a good idea to take your shovel during the growing season and dig up plants that are healthy and compare the root systems to plants that are not healthy. The goal is to grow healthy plants with a lot of roots—then high yields will always follow.
36. The fifth plant growth regulator hormone originates in the new developing cells in the top plant parts. The amount and movement of this hormone (Auxin), will affect the amount and rates that originate in the roots.
There must always be a continuous flow of Auxin to the root tips to form more cell division at the root tips. It is extremely important that not too much auxin flows to the root tips. If the root tips get too much auxin from the top of the plant, cell division will cease and roots will die.
Since Auxin is necessary for new cell division and cell differentiation, it is Auxin combined with the Cytokinin that determines cell division and cell differentiation. If the Auxin is affected by biotic and abiotic stress and is limited to the plant, there will always be poor cell division and cell differentiation within the corn plant.
The outstanding benefit of the application of Bio-Forge® to any plant is that it controls plant stress. It controls the amount of auxin available and movement of auxin in the plant. Bio-Forge is a pre-merit type chemical which will protect any plant against stress. There is no other product on the market containing this unique capability.
39. Maintaining root growth over a longer period of time will delay “early dying” and increase the seed filling period.
This is a function of the “million dollar” rain. This could also be obtained by the application of Calcium 5X to the corn plant before tasseling and the possible application of Bio-Forge® at the early brown silk stage of growth. The life of the plant must be maintained.