Drought stress can cause significant corn yield reductions, particularly when it occurs after the V13 growth stage.
At V13 and beyond, drought stress can negatively impact silking, pollination, and kernel fill, with the greatest loss in yield associated with drought stress that occurs around the silking (R1) period. Drought stress causing four or more consecutive days of visible wilting during this period can lead to yield loss as high as 9 percent per day. Plants weakened by drought stress are also more susceptible to disease and insect damage, which can further compound yield losses.
What Options Do Corn Growers Have for Combating Drought Stress?
Although farmers can't control the weather, they do have options that can help them improve plant health and strengthen their crop's stress tolerance in the face of drought.