It is extremely important to understand the importance of water availability in corn during the grain fill period. When corn crops are still in the dough stage of development, 50% of its yield potential is yet to be determined. Once corn reaches the dent stage, some so-called “experts” are often heard confidently stating that there is no reason to worry about further crop stresses because “the crop is made”.
Actually, by the time a crop reaches full dent (every kernel dented), only about 60% of the crop has been “made” and there is still 40% of the potential yield “on the table” yet to be determined.
Even by the time a crop has reached the so-called “half milkline” stage of kernel development (only about 10 to 14 days from physiological maturity), sudden and complete death of the whole plant can result in significant yield losses.