One option to reduce risk of wind damage is seed selection. “The breeding companies have not stopped working [on standability] using higher technology tools than ever,” Elmore says. “We have a lot of information recorded for different hybrids that growers should talk to their seed dealers about.”

Another pre-planting issue is row direction. “What I’ve found is that if straight-line winds come in from the west, they are more likely to knock down rows running north and south,” he notes. “But it still depends on where the wind comes from and how good the root system is.”

Once the damage is done, growers have a couple of options: adjusting the combine and/or adding equipment to handle downed corn.