The central-Iowa cornfield in these photos was planted on April 30th or May 1st, later than normal due to this spring’s wet, cold weather. The photos were taken Sunday, May 15th.
In the photo above, Jackson is pointing to a corn plant in the VE (emergence) stage. The first leaf collar is not yet visible; it is below the soil surface.
In the middle photo, the two little green spikes toward the top of the photo (you can see them by clicking on the photo) are also in the VE stage. Closer to the bottom of the same photo, the plants are in a more advanced stage. (The early stages are determined by the number of visible leaf collars.)
The article excerpt below offers an explanation of early corn plant growth. The article makes reference to growing degree units/heat energy.
An explanation of GDUs is at this site. Included is a comparison of the average daily accumulation of GDUs in Spencer, Decorah, Boone, Atlantic, and Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, from 1996-2010 at key times during the growing season.
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