It's a Hot One: September Weather Steals Crop Yields

September 11, 2013 06:34 AM
It's a Hot One: September Weather Steals Crop Yields

Scorching temperatures are causing some crops to dry down before they're ready.

In Northern Indiana record-breaking temperatures reached near 100 degrees Tuesday. The scorching temperatures are causing some crops to dry down because of stress, not because they’re ready.

"Three weeks ago we were talking about it not maturing soon enough, and now we're talking about it maturing too quickly," says Randy Matthys, who farms outside of South Bend, Ind. "I think it's possible to take some top end yield off the corn in the form of test weight and smaller kernel size."

As his pivot pumps at full capacity in mid-September, Matthys says it’s been a year of extremes.

"Irrigation is wonderful, but it sure doesn't replace Mother Nature," he says.

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While the corn is being pushed to maturity too quickly, it’s soybeans that continue to lose the most yield.

"What they thought may be 55 or 60, may be down in the 35- and 40-bushel yields," says Matthys.

The heat on Tuesday stretched as far north as the Northeast all the way down to Texas.

Travis Matthews farms in Carrollton, Mo. He told AgDay the 90- and 100-degree days have occurred for two weeks straight. With little rain in August, he estimates a 20- to 25-bu. yield loss on his soybeans.

In Decatur, Ill., Nathan Wentworth says it hasn’t rained since July, and with near 100-degree temperatures this week, many farmers in the area project soybean yields will be worse than last year.

To the east, Jason Scott in Burrows, Ind., says they’ve lost soybean yield in the last 10 days.

Meanwhile, the drought outlook isn’t good.

"Right now I see the drought persisting until at least October and November, unless something breaks this pattern," says Mark Svobada, Climatologist at the National Drought Mitigation Center.

A cool front is heading towards the northern Corn Belt later this week, along with chances of rain. Farmers in northern Indiana haven’t seen a good rain since July. That’s the case for many across the Midwest. Rowley, Iowa, farmer Chris Barron told AgDay the outlook for frost is fading in his area, but at this point, the heat and dry weather has done more damage anyway.



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