Green snap in corn • 6.28.19

Kris Young

Green snap in corn

view photos

It is that time of year when we hear about green snap occurring in corn.  Last year, we came off a very cool April into an unusually warm May/June which caused the corn to grow very rapidly in a short time making it more vulnerable to green snap.  This year, a combination of mild temperatures, plentiful moisture and topdressing of nitrogen kickstarted the corn after a very wet, cool May.  Conditions like this can accelerate corn growth especially during the V5 (5 leaf) to pre-tassel vegetative growth stages which is known as the rapid growth period for corn.  Rapid growing conditions is not a bad thing for corn but it can make it more susceptible to green snap.  Green snap is all about timing.   Wind events, hybrid susceptibility and rapid growing conditions all must occur at the same time. 

What is Green snap?

Green snap, also known as brittle snap, is the breaking of corn plants during a period of rapid growth and development due to extreme wind events.  Corn is most susceptible to green snap from about V5 to VT (tassel).  During this time, the corn plant is rapidly generating new vegetative growth which means rapid cell division and less structural integrity.  When walking corn at knee high or less, the slightest kick to a plant will snap it easily. 

Factors Affecting Green Snap Severity

  • Rapid growing conditions – warm, moist weather, high fertility rates especially nitrogen, high planting populations and conventional tillage (warmer soils)
  • Field topography characteristics and row direction relative to wind direction
  • Application of growth regulator herbicides such as 2,4-D or dicamba, especially applied late or during warm and humid conditions (Figure 1).
  • Hybrid genetic differences – Genetically certain hybrids are more susceptible to green snap especially those with rapid early growth.
  • Timing and severity of wind events

What is the Yield Impact of Green Snap Injury?

  • Plants that green snap at V8 stage or less will typically regrow with 2 tillers (Figure 2).  These tillers will not produce a normal ear, but often will produce a tassel ear which usually gets infected with corn smut and is not harvestable.
  • Plants that green snap at larger than V8 up to VT tend to break right below where the ear will develop.  These plants will not have yield potential for grain and become a non-productive weed using available nutrients and water (Figure 3).
  • Sometimes plants can green snap above the ear during early grain fill (R1 – Blister).  Since over half the carbohydrate to fill the ear come from the top half of the plant, ears on these plants can range from no yield if snap occurs just after pollination (Figure 4) or to only about half the potential if the snap occurs during mid grain fill.
  • Obviously, yield impact varies with the severity and timing of the breakage.  Fields with less than 10% damage will have very little impact on yield because the surrounding plants will compensate for the stand loss with larger ears, benefitting from both more sunlight and nutrients.

Managing the Risk of Green Snap Injury

  • Plant more than one hybrid or maturity.  Hybrids that differ in their genetic makeup and maturity have different windows of green snap susceptibility.  Planting a package of diverse hybrids spreads out the risk of injury.
  • Use caution when post-applying growth regulator type herbicides.  These herbicides can temporarily make the stalk more brittle after application which can increase the potential for green snap injury.  Dicamba-based chemistry is the preferred option over 2,4-D chemistry due to less brittleness and twisting on the plant.  In addition, avoid applying these types of herbicides to corn when the weather forecast indicates severe storm potential within the next 3 days.
  • Consider crop insurance coverage for wind damage for more susceptible fields.     

Figure 1

Plant twisting and leaning injury from post application of 2.4-D.

Figure 2

Green snap @ V6 stage. Note two tillers regenerating near the base of the corn plant.

Figure 3

Green snap @ V12 stage. Stalk breakage located below ear zone.

Figure 4

Green snap @ R1 stage. Note ear failed to set grain despite stalk breakage above the ear.

PRIVACY POLICY | Contact us for more information

AgriGold has drafted this document, which details how we gather and disseminate information, in an effort to demonstrate our strong commitment to online privacy. Please contact us if you have any questions about our privacy policy.

Use of Internet Protocol Address

We use your Internet protocol (IP) address for several reasons: to help diagnose problems with our server, to administer our Web site, to help identify you, and to gather broad demographic information.

Use of Registration Information

Our site's registration area requires customers to supply contact information, such as name and e-mail address, and demographic information. We use this information to send updated information to you regarding current events and the status our organization. However, users may opt out of - or opt in to these promotional e-mail messages at any time. (See Opt Out/Opt In, below.)


AgriGold features security measures on our host’s servers to protect the loss, misuse or alteration of information placed under our control.

Children's Guidelines

We do not collect or use any online contact information or identifiable off-line contact information about a child without parental consent. We do not distribute personally identifiable information about children without parental consent. We do not give children the ability to post or distribute personal information without prior consent. We do not entice children with games or contests that would encourage them to disclose personal information.

Opt Out/Opt In

AgriGold allows users to opt out of receiving e-mail from us. To opt out of our mailing list you can send e-mail to a remove mailing list. To Opt Out/Opt In, please use the Contact Us form on the site.

Correct/Update Personal Information

AgriGold allows you to change or modify your personal information by using the Contact Us form on the website.


This site contains links to other sites. AgriGold is not responsible for the content or privacy practices of these sites.

Contact Us

If you have any additional questions or concerns about our privacy policy, please contact us:

AgriGold Hybrids
5381 Akin Road
St. Francisville, IL 62460

AgriGold® and Design, AgReliant Genetics® and Design, AdvantageAcre® , We Know Corn, Corn Specialist, and Giants are trademarks and servicemarks of AgReliant Genetics, LLC.


LEGAL INFORMATION | Contact us for more information

All orders and sales are subject to the AgriGold® Terms and Conditions of Sale, which include but are not limited to the Limitation of Warranty & Remedy and Agronomic Zone and Planting Year. All Terms and Conditions of Sale are subject to change from time to time without prior notice. For the most up to date Terms and Conditions of Sale, see the AgriGold® website at

Monsanto Company is a member of Excellence Through Stewardship® (ETS). Monsanto products are commercialized in accordance with ETS Product Launch Stewardship Guidance, and in compliance with Monsanto’s Policy for Commercialization of Biotechnology-Derived Plant Products in Commodity Crops. Only commercialized products have been approved for import into key export markets with functioning regulatory systems. Any crop or material produced from this product can only be exported to, or used, processed or sold in countries where all necessary regulatory approvals have been granted. It is a violation of national and international law to move material containing biotech traits across boundaries into nations where import is not permitted. Growers should talk to their grain handler or product purchaser to confirm their buying position for this product. Excellence Through Stewardship® is a registered trademark of Biotechnology Industry Organization.

B.t. products may not yet be registered in all states. Check with your Monsanto representative for the registration status in your state.

IMPORTANT IRM INFORMATION: RIB Complete® corn blend products do not require the planting of a structured refuge except in the Cotton-Growing Area where corn earworm is a significant pest. SmartStax® RIB Complete® corn blend is not allowed to be sold for planting in the Cotton-Growing Area. See the IRM/Grower Guide for additional information. Always read and follow IRM requirements.

DroughtGard® Hybrids with RIB Complete® corn blend the refuge seed may not always contain DroughtGard® Hybrids trait.

ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW PESTICIDE LABEL DIRECTIONS. Roundup Ready technology contain genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate, an active ingredient in Roundup® brand agricultural herbicides. Agricultural herbicides containing glyphosate will kill crops that are not tolerant to glyphosate.

ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW DIRECTIONS FOR USE ON PESTICIDE LABELING. IT IS A VIOLATION OF FEDERAL AND STATE LAW to use any pesticide product other than in accordance with its labeling. NOT ALL formulations of dicamba or glyphosate are approved for in-crop use with Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans. ONLY USE FORMULATIONS THAT ARE SPECIFICALLY LABELED FOR SUCH USES AND APPROVED FOR SUCH USE IN THE STATE OF APPLICATION. IN CROP USES MAY NOT BE APPROVED IN ALL STATES. Contact the U.S. EPA and your state pesticide regulatory agency with any questions about the approval status of dicamba herbicide products for in-crop use with Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans.

Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans contains genes that confer tolerance to glyphosate and dicamba. Glyphosate will kill crops that are not tolerant to glyphosate. Dicamba will kill crops that are not tolerant to dicamba. Contact your Monsanto dealer or refer to Monsanto’s Technology Use Guide for recommended weed control programs.

Important: Always read and follow label and bag tag instructions; only those labeled as tolerant to glufosinate may be sprayed with glufosinate ammonium based herbicides.

Seed products with the LibertyLink® (LL) trait are resistant to the herbicide glufosinate ammonium, an alternative to glyphosate in corn, and combine high-yielding genetics with the powerful, non-selective, postemergent weed control of Liberty® herbicide for optimum yield and excellent weed control.

Agrisure® Technology incorporated into these seeds is commercialized under license from Syngenta Seeds, Inc. Herculex® Technology incorporated into these seeds is commercialized under license from Dow AgroSciences LLC.

AgReliant Genetics® and Design, Advantage Acre® and Design, AgriGold® and Design, AgriShield®, Always On, and Yield Masters Design are trademarks of AgReliant Genetics, LLC. Agrisure®, Agrisure Artesian®, Artesian, Agrisure Viptera®, and E-Z Refuge® are trademarks of a Syngenta Group Company. Acceleron®, DroughtGard®, Genuity®, RIB Complete and Design®, RIB Complete®, Roundup Ready 2 Technology and Design®, Roundup Ready®, Roundup®, Roundup Ready 2 Xtend®, SmartStax®, Trecepta, VT Double PRO®, and VT Triple PRO® are trademarks of Monsanto Technology LLC. ILeVO®, LibertyLink®, Poncho®, VOTiVO®, and the Water Droplet Design® are registered trademarks of Bayer. HERCULEX® and the HERCULEX Shield are trademarks of Dow AgroSciences LLC. Respect the Refuge and Corn Design® and Respect the Refuge® are registered trademarks of National Corn Growers Association. FieldView is a trademark of The Climate Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Before opening a bag of seed, be sure to read and understand the stewardship requirements, including applicable refuge requirements for insect resistance management, for the biotechnology traits expressed in the seed set forth in the technology agreement that you sign. By opening and using a bag of seed, you are reaffirming your obligation to comply with those stewardship requirements.

XtendiMax® herbicide with VaporGrip® Technology is part of the Roundup Ready® Xtend Crop System and is a restricted use pesticide for retail sale to and use only by Certified Applicators or persons under their direct supervision and only for those uses covered by the Certified Applicator’s certification. ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW DIRECTIONS FOR USE ON PESTICIDE LABELING. It is a violation of federal and state law to use any pesticide product other than in accordance with its labeling. XtendiMax® herbicide with VaporGrip® Technology may not be approved in all states and may be subject to use restrictions in some states. Check with your local Monsanto dealer or representative or U.S. EPA and your state pesticide regulatory agency for the product registration status and additional restrictions in your state. For approved tank-mix products and nozzles visit

©2019 AgReliant Genetics, LLC.

SEED PIRACY STATEMENT: Seed containing a patented trait can only be used to plant a single commercial crop from which seed cannot be saved and replanted. Examples of seed containing a patented trait include but are not limited to Genuity® Roundup Ready 2 Yield® soybeans, and Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® soybeans. Additional information and limitations on the use of these products are provided in the Monsanto Technology Stewardship Agreement, the Monsanto Technology Use Guide, and the Roundup Ready 2 Xtend® Soybean Technology Use Guide Supplement. U.S. patents for Monsanto technologies can be found at the following webpage: