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Good Corn-Growing Weather on the Way

May 19, 2011
By: Sara Schafer, Farm Journal Media Business and Crops Editor
corn in the summer
  

A cooler and wetter summer should aid corn development and yields.

 
With as poor as the planting weather has been in many parts of the Corn Belt, it’s almost hard to believe that good weather is really on the way. But, according to experts, all of your corn crop’s weather needs should be met come summer.
 
During the past 30 days, excessive rainfall has persisted in much of the middle and eastern Corn Belt. In this time period, QT Weather Meteorologist Allen Motew says, southeast Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky have all received double the norm in precipitation levels.
 
Luckily, for farmers in those areas, drier weather is one the way. “From now until Friday, a dry period will give the Corn Belt and center of the nation (border to border) five straight days of drying and excellent planting and field work conditions,” reports Motew.
 
Jim Angel, Illinois State Climatologist, says farmers in his areas have been seeing a constant pattern of weather this spring: a few days of rain, a few days to dry out, and a few days to actually complete fieldwork.
 

Kiss La Nina Goodbye

Angel says that the current La Nina pattern is weakening and converting to a neutral condition. “La Nina won’t be a player much longer.”
 
Motew predicts that this neutral pattern will continue through the majority of the summer.
 
The pattern Angel and Motew expect to see over the next few months is cooler and wetter weather.
 
“For the Midwest, the Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a slightly increased chance of below-normal temperatures and an increased chance for above-normal precipitation for May, June and July,” Angel says. “That’s not too surprising, wetter weather normally does pull down the temperatures.”
 

QT weather July temps

July will be colder than normal across the Corn Belt with a 60-70% probability, according to QT Weather.
Angel says there is a trend toward fewer days of the really hot weather, probably due to having wetter weather overall. “Any additional heat is used to evaporate water rather than heat up the atmosphere.”
 
A vacation from the really hot (more than 90 degrees F) is a welcome sign for farmers, Angel says. “For us in Illinois, the really hot weather goes hand in hand with drought.”
 
Motew says the cooler pattern predicted for this summer should be good news for corn production. “Normally, if the corn crop is planted in a timely manner, this would mean favorable yields.” During July pollination, corn should be spared by extreme heat, which is optimal for any late-planted crops.
 
 
For More Information

See what weather you can expect in your area by visiting AgWeb's Weather Section.


 

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RELATED TOPICS: Corn, Weather, Agronomy, Crops

 
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