Today managing your corn crop requires knowledge of the different growth stages of the corn plant. Growth stage identification is critical for scouting and proper timing of fertilizer and pesticide applications.
R3 – Milk
The R3 (Milk) stage occurs about 18 – 22 days after silking. At this stage the outside of the kernel is colored yellow while the inside is white. The kernel contains a “milky” white fluid that will explode when pressure is applied. Kernel moisture content is approximately 80% and starch is beginning to accumulate in the kernel.
Management/Scouting: Scout for drought symptoms. Stress can still cause kernel abortions from the ear tip downward. Insects: Corn Earworm, Corn Rootworm adults and Japanese Beetles Diseases: Eyespot, Gray Leaf Spot, Norther Leaf Blight, Southern Leaf Blight and Tar Spot
Photo Source: Corn Growth & Development, Iowa State University