Corn Response to Drought Stress
- Reduced water uptake under drought conditions can limit the rate of photosynthesis in the plant.
- Corn plants respond to drought stress by closing stomates and rolling leaves to reduce the volume of water transpired through the plant. This response benefits the plant by protecting it through short bouts of drought stress.
- However, closing the stomates also reduces the ability of the plant to take in carbon dioxide, which slows down photosynthesis and plant growth.
- The eventual impact on yield is determined by the severity and duration of stress. Drought stress lasting four or more days is likely to reduce yield (Table 2).
Table 2. Estimated corn yield loss when drought stress persists for four or more consecutive days. (Drought stress indicated when the uppermost, fully expanded leaf was visibly wilted.)
Licht, M. and S. Archontoulis. 2017. Influence of Drought on Corn and Soybean. Iowa State Univ. Extension.