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The chemical composition of drouth-injured corn plants

Loomis, W.E.
Agronomy journal 1937 v.29 no.8 pp. 697-702
water content, Zea mays, chemical composition, carbohydrates, plant tissues, Iowa
Severely drouth-injured corn showed the same ratio of leaves to stalk as normal plants. The injured plants weighed 37% as much as the stover of normal plants but only 19% as much as the fodder. The failure of the corn plant to form starch in the vegetative organs makes drouth-injured or barren stalks a poor substitute for normal fruiting plants. Cane sugar, which is the principal storage form of the stalk, is readily lost during curing and storage. High sugar coupled with high soluble nitrogen is favorable to heating of stover and to the formation of poor quality silage. The rapid losses of sugars from plants left standing in the field or air dried slowly suggest that drouth-injured corn would make better feed if it could be cut while still green and dried rapidly, perhaps mowed and dried in the swath and then ensiled or handled as hay.