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Sweet Corn

Sweet corn accounts for about 260,000 acres of crops grown in the United States. Sweet corn is a variety of corn with a higher concentration of sugar in the ear. Once planted, sweet corn is usually ready for harvest around 60-100 days. Compared to field corn, sweet corn is harvested earlier at the R3 growth stage, while field corn is harvested at the R6 growth stage when the crop has reached maturity.  

A sweet corn crop is very susceptible to nutrient deficiencies which result in loss of crop quality and reduction of overall yield. To maximize quality and yield, sweet corn requires the application of various nutrients throughout the season.  

Use the images below to diagnose nutrient deficiencies in your sweet corn fields. 

Nutrient Deficiencies

Nitrogen is mobile in the plant. Symptoms will appear as chlorosis first on lower leaves.
Phosphorus is mobile in the plant. Symptoms will appear as purpling in a young corn plant first on lower leaves. Some hybrids appear purple at the seedling stage so a tissue test is essential for proper diagnosis.
Potassium is mobile within the plant, causing deficiency symptoms to appear first in older leaves. Leaf symptoms appear as yellowing to necrosis on the outer edge of leaves.
Sulfur is immobile in the plant. Symptoms of interveinal yellowing and leaf striping will appear on the younger leaves. Plants will appear stunted and light green in appearance. Normally will see sulfur deficiencies on sandy soils
Zinc is immobile in the plant. Symptoms of white interveinal striping while midribs stay green and shortened internodes. Symptoms will appear on the younger leaves. Conditions that favor zinc deficient plants high phosphorus and pH soils, root limiting conditions.
Boron improves seed set under stressful conditions and is an important component of cell walls. Symptoms will appear as brittle leaves and small dead spots.

Additional Resources

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