How to Avoid Arrested Ear Development (AED)
Corn farmers face numerous challenges when it comes to protecting their crops and ensuring optimal yield. One such challenge is arrested ear development (AED), a condition that affects corn plants during their crucial reproductive stage.
Understanding AED by learning how to recognize its potential causes and identify affected corn ear symptoms can help farmers minimize corn crop risk.
What Is Arrested Ear Development?
Arrested ears are corn ears that have been affected by a physiological disorder that causes them to have shortened cobs and produce less grain. Ear size and kernel development of impacted crops can vary from barren to near normal. If the disorder affects a high percentage of corn plants, yield losses can be significant.
What Causes Arrested Ear Development?
There are two types of different factors that can contribute to arrested ear syndrome in corn: environmental factors and product related factors. Common environmental factors can include:
Poor pollination happens when the tassels and silks do not emerge at the same time, leading to incomplete pollination.
Nutrient imbalance can also occur because the plant may not be able to take up nutrients properly due to the arrested ear development.
Environmental stress such as drought or extreme temperatures can also exacerbate the issue.
Disease and pest pressure can be more prevalent due to the lack of proper plant development.
Genetic factors can affect some corn varieties more frequently than others.
While these environmental factors can lead to arrested ear development, AED is primarily attributed to an ingredient found in many non-ionic surfactants (NIS) called alkylphenol ethoxylate and/or nonylphenol ethoxylate (APE/NPE), which is a petroleum based, cost-effective and widely available surfactant material. By definition a nonionic surfactant it is a substance that reduces the surface tension of water (to improve coverage) and doesn’t carry a charge (to avoid tie-up in hard water). It is important to note that they can be made from different materials aside from APE so nonionic surfactants as a category can still be utilized during foliar applications, but just need to confirm either on the label or with your supplier that they are APE/NPE free. FBN recommends IN-Zorb™ ADV which is a premium NIS product developed specifically for this purpose.
It’s important to remember that if you treat your corn with fungicide during the pre-tassel stage, your crop may still require an additional fungicide spray to protect the uppermost leaves from disease later in the season, as they were not exposed at the time of application.
How Does Arrested Ear Development Affect Corn?
AED can potentially lead to:
Reduced Yield: The plant will produce fewer ears or smaller ears.
Quality Concerns: The ears may not fully develop or may be misshapen.
Harvesting Challenges: The ears may not be at the same height or maturity, making it difficult to harvest. If the ears aren’t fully developed, they may not dry properly which could lead to storage issues.
Avoid Arrested Ear with the Right Fungicides from FBN Direct®
By negatively impacting yield potential and overall crop quality, arrested ear development poses a significant threat to corn. But by understanding the main causes of AED and knowing to avoid fungicides containing alkylphenol ethoxylate in the V14 to pre-tassel window, farmers can minimize AED risk and protect their corn crops.
FBN Direct offers a diverse portfolio of fungicides and high-quality adjuvants, including coverage improving IN-Zorb™ ADV, which does not contain APE, and products designed to control drift, like FieldGrip™ DRA.
Feature Tank Mix
Cost/Acre on Corn
GCS Azoxyprop fungicide
Prevent Disease & Promote Plant Health
At 10.5 oz/ac
IN-Zorb™ ADV adjuvant
Improve Coverage & Uptake and does NOT include APE
1 pt/100 gal
@ 15 GPA
FieldGrip™ DRA adjuvant
Nourish VitalsTM crop nutrition
Add Balanced, Efficient Nutrition
At 24 oz/ac
Copyright © 2014 - 2023 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All rights Reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network”, “FBN”, “FBN Direct”, IN-Zorb, FieldGrip, and Nourish Vitals are servicemarks, trademarks or registered trademarks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc.
FBN Direct products and services and other products distributed by FBN Direct are offered by FBN Inputs, LLC and are available only in states where FBN Inputs, LLC is licensed and where those products are registered for sale or use, if applicable. If applicable, please check with your local extension service to ensure registration status. Nothing contained on this page, including the prices listed should be construed as an offer for sale, or a sale of products. All products and prices are subject to change at any time and without notice. Terms and conditions apply.
ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS. It is a violation of federal and state law to use any pesticide product other than in accordance with its label. The distribution, sale and use of an unregistered pesticide is a violation of federal and/or state law and is strictly prohibited. We do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided on this page or which is provided by us in any form. It is your responsibility to confirm prior to purchase and use that a product is labeled for your specific purposes, including, but not limited to, your target crop or pest and its compatibility with other products in a tank mix and that the usage of a product is otherwise consistent with federal, state and local laws. We reserve the right to restrict sales on a geographic basis in our sole discretion. You must have a valid applicator license to use restricted use pesticides. Please consult your state department of agriculture for complete rules and regulations on the use of restricted use pesticides, as some products require specific record-keeping requirements.
The material provided is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for specific agronomic, business, legal, investment or professional advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, consult with a qualified agronomist, financial planner, or investment manager. Neither Farmer's Business Network, Inc. nor any of its affiliates makes any representations or warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the statements or any information contained in the material and any liability therefore is expressly disclaimed.