V15 Corn Growth Stage and Scouting Tips

V15 Corn Growth Stage

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V15 Stage*

This is the start of the most crucial period for determining grain yield. Upper ear shoot development overshadows lower ear shoot development. Every 1 to 2 days, a new leaf stage occurs. Silks begin to grow from the upper ears. By V17, the tips of upper ear shoots may be visible atop the leaf sheaths. The tip of the tassel also may be visible.


  • The corn plant is most sensitive to drought stress starting two weeks before silking until two weeks after silking. Grain yields are most affected from drought during that period.
  • The closer to actual silking, the more yield reduction from stresses such as nutrient deficiencies or hail.
  • When fields are dry avoid applications of fungicides, pesticides and associated surfactants. (Always read and follow label directions.)
  • Critical period for irrigation.

GDUs Required** is approximately 1,045 to reach V15 stage.
** These GDUs apply to a 105- to 110-day hybrid grown in the Central Corn Belt. Hybrid growth is influenced by the growing environment. Individual results may vary.

Scout for these Common Pests and Diseases Timing*
Corn Rootworm Larval feeding on roots is most extensive in early through mid-July in most regions of the Corn Belt.
European Corn Borer As the true stalk develops and European corn borer larvae increase in size, larvae can be found tunneling into the stalk.
Eyespot V6 through R4. Disease found primarily in northern environments.
Goss's Wilt VE through R6. Disease primarily found in Nebraska and portions of other western states.

Click on the insect or disease for more information.

* Information from Pioneer and Iowa State University Extension.

Use this information as a guide and it should not be the only factor in making decisions.