Discoloration in Corn Not Likely to be Herbicide Injury

Mark VanGessel, Extension Weed Specialist; mjv@udel.edu

A lot of emerged corn is growing slowly and looking very pale and with some striping. The stripes may be a wide stripe on each side of the midrib or could be multiple thin strips running the length of the leaf blade. The first thought is often herbicide injury, but this is not a symptom often observed from herbicide injury. From what I have observed, corn with these symptoms is often due to poor growing condition (cool, wet and not a lot of sunshine). It maybe some minor nutrient deficiency, but in the past, tissue tests have not always been very conclusive. Once we get some warm weather and sunshine, the corn resumes normal growth. It also may be that the root systems has expanded to the point it can uptake the lacking nutrients. If you suspect nutrient deficiency, check your soil tests and review what nutrients were in your starter. If you still are thinking its nutritional take a soil sample or tissue test to verify.