V3 to V5 Corn Growth Stages and Scouting Tips

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V3 - V5 Corn Growth Stages

V3 - V5 Stages*

At V3, the growing point is still below the surface. The stalk (stem) hasn't elongated much. Root hairs are growing from the nodal roots as seminal roots cease growing. All leaves and ear shoots the plant will ever produce form inside the stalk from V3 to about V5. A tiny tassel forms at the tip of the growing point. Above-ground plant height typically is about 8 inches.


  • Soil temperatures greatly affect the growing point.
  • Cold soils may increase the time between leaf stages, increase the total number of leaves formed, delay tassel formation and reduce nutrient availability.
  • Hail, wind and frost have little effect on the growing point or final grain yield.
  • At this time, flooding can kill the corn plant.
  • Weed control reduces competition for light, water and nutrients.

GDUs Required** to reach V3 is approximately 325 to 360, depending on hybrid maturity.
** 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*
Black Cutworm Mid- to late May until corn reaches V5.
Brown Stink Bug VE through V4.
Goss's Wilt VE through R6. Disease primarily found in Nebraska and portions of other western states.
Grape Colaspis VE through V8.
Slugs VE through V4.
Stewart's Wilt Disease is initiated with corn flea beetle feeding from VE to V5.
Wireworms From planting to V4.

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.