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Agronomic Crops Network

Ohio State University Extension


Troubleshooting Ear and Kernel Disorders in Corn

Abnormal ears of corn

When checking corn fields prior to harvest, it’s not uncommon to encounter ears exhibiting abnormal growth such as those shown below (Fig. 1), especially when the crop has experienced stress conditions. Some of these ear and kernel anomalies have a limited impact on corn production but others can affect yield and grain quality adversely. To assist with the diagnosis and management of various ear and kernel disorders, check the following: “Troubleshooting Abnormal Corn Ears” available online at

Fig. 1. Corn ears exhibiting “tip dieback”.


Also available is a poster (Fig. 2) highlighting fourteen abnormal corn ears with distinct symptoms and causes. “Abnormal Corn Ears” posters can be obtained from the CFAES Marketing and Communications section at

Crop Observation and Recommendation Network

C.O.R.N. Newsletter is a summary of crop observations, related information, and appropriate recommendations for Ohio crop producers and industry. C.O.R.N. Newsletter is produced by the Ohio State University Extension Agronomy Team, state specialists at The Ohio State University and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). C.O.R.N. Newsletter questions are directed to Extension and OARDC state specialists and associates at Ohio State.