Rapid Growth Syndrome: The Corn Leaf Twister

Categories: GROWING, CORN
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Rapid growth syndrome, also known as “buggy whipping” and “twisted whorls,” is characterized by an accelerated corn plant growth rate. The new leaves are trapped and unable to emerge, causing the whorl to twist and bend from the resulting pressure. 

Rapid growth syndrome is common during abrupt transitions from cool to warm weather. It typically occurs at the V5 to V6 growth stage, but can still appear at the V12 stage. As with many weather-related stress effects, it is common for some hybrids to be more prone to rapid growth syndrome than others. 

When scouting your fields, look for yellow leaves that have emerged from the whorl. Rapid growth syndrome is more likely to be spotted in the upper leaves of the corn crop. 

If you notice rapid growth syndrome in your field, don’t be alarmed. The long-term effects of rapid growth syndrome are minimal, as the trapped leaves usually unfurl after a few days. The yellow leaves will turn green after sun exposure and may be wrinkled near the base through the rest of the growing season. But according to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, yield loss is unlikely. 

Contact your Golden Harvest Seed Advisor with questions or for additional agronomic insights.

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