Short-Stature Corn in Development by Bayer to Minimize Storm Damage to Crops

High winds and storms that blew through parts of central and northern Indiana last weekend caused damage to corn crops in those areas – but, there’s a new development that’s in the works that could greatly minimize the damage to crops from storms.

It’s called Smart Corn – and it’s currently being developed and tested by Bayer.  It’s a corn hybrid that would grow shorter in stature and be much sturdier with longer roots.

Levi Riggs is with Riggs Ag Solutions – a Specialty Hybrids dealer based out of Danville in Hendricks County.  He says he’s excited about what he’s seen so far from the Smart Corn trials.

Levi Riggs of Riggs Ag Solutions – a Specialty Hybrids dealer based out of Danville in Hendricks County. Photo courtesy of Bayer.

“We’re launching [Smart Corn] in 2025,” according to Riggs. “It’s actually in research plots right now. We have it in West Lafayette and in Logansport, and it’s really exciting because the corn is significantly shorter. The yield you’ll be able to pull from it is still what we would expect from that the current hybrids, but it allows you get over it with ground rigs. We have 80 percent better standability in wind events, so it’s something that’s on the horizon that we’re really excited about.”

Riggs says the shorter, sturdier corn will benefit Indiana’s farmers and be much stronger to withstand storm and wind damage once it’s rolled out.

Photo courtesy of Bayer.

“[It will improve yield] especially on the western side of the state. I move a lot of seed units over there and definitely having shorter corn that can get us later-season standability is going to be something we really are excited to get,” says Riggs.

But, once the short-stature corn hybrids are rolled out, those outside the ag industry driving along a corn field might not be accustomed to seeing the shorter corn in late July and August.

“What we’re seeing this year in the growing season is a lot of shorter corn based off of the season, so maybe that’s a good precursor to maybe the visual that you might see in the future,” says Riggs.

Click BELOW to hear C.J. Miller’s report on the development of short-stature corn by Bayer to minimize the damage from storms and strong winds.

Click BELOW to hear the FULL interview with Levi Riggs with Riggs Ag Solutions – a Specialty Hybrids dealer – as he discusses the benefits of the Smart Corn that is being developed by Bayer, as well as an update on tar spot affecting corn in west-central Indiana.

At Specialty Hybrids, it’s your field, our Specialty. Find your local field sales representative and dealer online at

Photo courtesy of Bayer.

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