The frost on Monday morning has given us an opportunity to illustrate the effect of heat on recovering corn plants. This is the shot of the corn plant from Thursday's post, 72 hours after the frost event. It spent the first 24 hours outside, then brought inside. At a constant 20 degrees inside temperature, there is an accumulated 30 heat units every 24 hours. When we include Monday this plant has accumulated 65 heat units over the 72 hour time frame.
The shot above is from a plant on Friday morning, 96 hours after the frost and kept inside for 72 hours. You can see the rapid emergence of new leaf tissue that resulted from an addtional 30 heat units accumulated from Thursday to Friday, for a total accumulation of 95 heat units. In the picture below, the plant to the right was selected on Friday morning from the same corn field as the plants above.
The plant on the right suffered for 96 hours outside from Monday to Friday where it accumulated less than 50 heat units and had to deal with one inch of cold rain. Not only can you see a big difference in leaf development, but notice the abundance of root growth on the indoor plant. The good news is the corn stand is recovering and as of this morning (Saturday) you can start to see rows of plants in the field.
These plants will have a sick and yellow look for a while, but they will live to fight another day.
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