Corn Growth Stages

VE / Emergence

Embryonic leaves rapidly develop and grow through the coleoptilar tip. Seminal root growth begins to slow and nodal roots are initiated at the crown.

V1 / First Leaf Collar

The lowermost leaf (short with rounded tip) has a visible leaf collar. Nodal roots begin elongation.

V4 / Fourth Leaf Collar

All leaves and ear shoots that the plant will produce are initiated at this stage. Since the growing point remains below the soil surface, cold soil temperatures may increase the time between leaf stages, increase the total number of leaves formed, delay tassel formation, and reduce nutrient uptake.

V8 / Eight Leaf Collar

During the V7 to V8 stages, the rapid growth phase and kernel row determination begins.

V10 / Ten Leaf Collar

During the V9 to V10 stages, the stalk is in a rapid growth phase accumulating dry matter as well as nutrients. The tassel has begun growing rapidly as the stalk continues to elongate.

VT / Tasseling

Initiation of the VT stage begins when the last branch of the tassel is visible and silks have not emerged. This stage begins about 2–3 days before silk emergence. Plants at the VT to R1 stages are most vulnerable to moisture stress and leaf loss (hail).

R1 / Silking

This stage begins when any silk is visible outside the husk. Environmental stress at this time is detrimental to pollination and seed set, with moisture stress causing desiccation of silks and pollen grains. Nutrient concentrations in the plant are highly correlated with final grain yield as Nitrogen and Phosphorus uptake are rapid.

R2 - R6 Kernel Details

R6 / Physiological Maturity

Maturity occurs approximately 55–65 days after silking. All kernels on the ear have attained maximum dry weight.