Field cracked and dry because of droughtWith flash drought conditions across much of the Corn Belt, here are five early-season signs of drought stress growers can look for:

  1. Floppy corn. This issue can occur as early as the V2 growth stage and results from poor nodal root development. Timely rainfall can help floppy corn.
  2. Pineapple corn. This issue results from dryness and high temperatures, causing the plant to roll its leaves.
  3. Streaked corn. This condition results from the plant’s inability to take up nutrients such as potassium, leaving streaks throughout the plant.
  4. Paused beans. Young soybeans in drought conditions will pause their growth, causing shorter plants with smaller leaves.
  5. Leaf flipping and clamping. Soybean will adjust leaf orientation to reduce solar radiation and moisture loss. If the dryness gets worse, the plant will clamp its outer leaflets together to reduce the leaf area exposed to sunlight.

Read more on early-season drought symptoms in corn and soybeans here.