Little Relief, Likely No Recovery for Corn

July 3, 2012 04:12 AM

Condition of the nation’s corn crop continues to deteriorate, and the situation is likely to worsen as the critical pollination period progresses.

"Dry conditions are expected throughout the Corn Belt for the next 7 to 10 days," says Allan Curtis, climatologist with the Midwestern Regional Climate Center. "In the short term, there doesn’t look to be a whole lot of relief. Dry conditions are expected to persist or worsen."

While some areas of the Corn Belt have received moisture, rains have been spotty except for in the eastern Corn Belt in a line from northeastern Illinois through Ohio, where a high-wind event accompanied by widespread rains occurred last week.

"There were 500 reports of 50, 60, even 70 mph winds or greater and hail, which is no good for any crop," says Curtis.

According to USDA’s latest Crop Progress report, released July 2, only 48% of the nation’s corn is rated in good to excellent condition. Seven days earlier, 56% of the nation’s corn was rated in good to excellent condition and last year 69% of the corn was in similar shape.

Of the top-three corn-producing states, Indiana reports the worst corn condition with only 19% of its corn rated as good to excellent. Illinois corn is also in rough shape, with only 26% rated good to excellent. In Iowa, 62% of the corn is in similar shape, but even there, concerns over extremely dry conditions persist as pollinations begins.

"Two thirds of the state is abnormally dry," says Roger Elmore, extension corn specialist with Iowa State University. "It’s not a good place to be, heading into silking. Without rain, stress will be extreme enough to reduce yield."

According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor, only small portions of the U.S. Corn Belt are reporting normal soil conditions. Portions of Missouri are reporting some of their driest months ever and most of Kansas, Arkansas, and Indiana are under severe to extreme drought conditions.

"It’s not going to get much better," says Curtis. "The dryer it gets the harder the ground gets. It is not as accepting of rain, and the harder it is to recover."

While this year’s crop showed lots of promise early due to what was one of the, if not the, quickest and earliest planting seasons ever, expectations are dwindling just about everywhere expect for in Minnesota, where 82% of the corn is rated as good to excellent, and North Dakota, with 81%. Minnesota and North Dakota are the only states with more than 70% of their corn showing that much promise, according to USDA.


For More Information
Check your local forecast with AgWeb’s Pinpoint Weather.
How are your crops responding to your area's weather? Submit your report to AgWeb Crop Comments.




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Spell Check

7/4/2012 04:41 AM

  What a difference between early planted and late planted corn. Late being anything after our only big rain event on April 29-30. Roots just didn't grow fast enough to beat the heat. Lighter soils will be toast by the weekend regardless of when planted. Tassels just starting to show up. 30% chance of a couple tenths of rain Sat. is our only hope at this point. 1988 was dryer but cooler thru June. Hope the insurance companies have a lot of cash laying around!!


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