Flooded Fields - Water Logged Soils

HSC Intern

In the past month the Wabaunsee county Kansas area has received in the neighborhood of anywhere from 3 to 8 inches of rainfall according to the National Weather Service. These large amounts of rainfall are causing headaches for growers around the area because all the moisture is interfering with planting dates of soybeans and corn or causing problems with soybeans or corn that is already in the ground. The growing season so far this year has been very cool and wet. This being said the conditions are favoring a season that is going to be high in fungi.

Along with high chances of fungi, saturated or flooded soils can cause inhibited root growth and inhibited leaf expansion in corn. Generally speaking, in flooded or highly saturated soils yellowing of the leaves in corn plants is not unusual and is a symptom of slowing photosynthesis due to lack of oxygen in the flooded soil. The lack of root growth usually is not a problem immediately following the flooding, the biggest problem we see is in the lack of root growth when the corn plant becomes larger and it does not have a well developed root system later in the growing season. When the plant is larger and is suffering from a stunted root system it can decrease nutrient and water uptake in critical parts of the season where that uptake is needed. Along with more lodging of the corn in high winds or bad weather can also be an issue. Usually, roots that are not fully developed in the mid to late growing season will have some sort of drought stress if conditions become dry due to the fact that the roots cannot move throughout the whole soil profile to uptake water. Generally, a young corn plant can withstand being submerged in water for up to 48 hours. However, corn that is before the V6 growth stage and still has a growing point under the ground or close to the soil surface can last approximately 4 days in flooded fields but after that 4 days there will be season long impacts on the productivity of the corn crop. If the corn is not submerged for over 48 hours then the chances of the crop survival increase. Temperatures have a large influence on how harmful the flood waters can be to the corn crop. Cooler water has more oxygen than warmer flood waters. Therefore, if the conditions are warm during the flooding then the corn crop will have higher chances of long term damage. Silt deposition can inhibit the recovery of flooded corn plants. Large amounts of silt in the whorl and on the leaves will inhibit photosynthesis, and can promote disease. Remember to scout regularly and check for these problems in your corn crop. 



Ciampitti, Ignacio, Kraig Roozeboom, and Doug Jardine. "Kansas State University." K-State Agronomy : Effect of Water-logged Soils on Corn Growth and Yield. Kansas State University, 13 June 2014. Web. 22 May 2017.



Add a comment

* Comments must be approved before being displayed.